This blog has little to do with hockey but it has a bit to do with sports and life and our values. In the past few months a lot of things have happened within sports and ties to the real world that have me shaking my head.
Let's take a few examples of our sports stars/personalities, Michael Vick, Tim Donaghy, Mark Bell, Barry Bonds, any cyclist. What's the common thread, they have all cheated or committed allegedly or not a criminal act. Okay, not really news in any form and pretty obvious but my concern lies in justice/retribution that some of these people have been given or will face.
Let's take Donaghy. Did you know that he could get up to 25 years to life in prison for 'fixing and betting' on NBA games and associated charges. Is that too extreme? Of course it is! Rapists get less...Karla Holmolka see http://www.crimelibrary.c...ous/bernardo/index_1.html
got less time. Yes it is a bad thing he did, no arguments there but not that bad. I personally think he should get a couple of years and probation max because our society certainly cares far less about people far more dangerous.
What about Michael Vick? How much time should he do if convicted? Same answer, not much. Mark Bell gets to serve his sentence when it's convenient...that seems about right doesn't it when you compare what he did to a real crime.
I don't see any consistency right now either. Some sports stars are penalized more, some none and some less than the average Joe. I don't want my stars to get a free ride but I don't want them to be hit harder because they achieved more.
There are families and victims who are destroyed by soft sentences to the thief, murderer, rapist etc. They are totally ruined emotionally and some financially by selfless acts but in our world we would rather watch Michael Vick fry or see a dirty referee drawn and quartered. That scares me.
As sports fans we are pretty messed up. We are drawn into debates about Todd Bertuzzi and the like, and then pay to have attention drawn to these stupid people by reading papers, websites and such about them. Perhaps it's time we got a grip too.
Let's take hockey. Then next time an NHL player does something stupid and the league as a whole goes nuts over the penalty or lack thereof we need to do something outside of the sports realm. Fire an e-mail to the NHL and remind them that there are far worse crimes being committed than an 'iffy' head shot. If you hear of an overzealous prosecutor trying to get some attention write that district and tell them to spend a little more time on the pedophile who ruined a child's life.
Seriously...all the resources in the world to go after Michael Vick are pointless if we can't do the same for some creep who rapes a woman.
Perhaps you are wondering why I care justice inconsistency? I care because I'm sick of reading a paper every day where there is more money spent to cover a 'sports crime' story than a 'crime' story. I'm tired or hearing about how people have to beg prosecutors to take cases against the 'average criminal' yet see them requesting extra funding for 'high profile cases'. But hey, just like the athletes we cheer for most people want to have their time as a star and who can blame them...look what it can get you.