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Careful About What You Say: The Speech Police Are Listening
You may have heard about the radio play-by-play man for the San Francisco 49ers who got into trouble for saying things you’re apparently not allowed to say. The broadcaster, Ted Robinson, was a guest on a radio show and uttered these words about football player Ray Rice’s then fiancée (and now wife), who by now the whole world knows was knocked out by Rice in an elevator at an Atlantic City casino:
“How does she marry him after that? How does she go in front of [NFL Commissioner] Goodell [and make a case for Ray Rice]? That’s pathetic to me.”
For this Robinson was suspended for two games. Explaining his decision, the 49ers president, Paraag Marathe, issued this statement: “The comments made by radio broadcaster Ted Robinson … were offensive and in no way reflect the views of the San Francisco 49ers organization. … Our organization stands strongly against domestic violence and will not tolerate comment such as these.”
Score one for the Speech Police who will not tolerate comments they will not tolerate.
I understand how intolerant some people can be in the name of tolerance, still, I’m confused. If a young woman got knocked out by her fiancé and decided to marry him a month later, the woman’s father, mother, sister, brother, best friend and the kid who bags her groceries at the supermarket would ask her the exact same question. How can you marry him after that?
It’s a perfectly reasonable question that any reasonable person would ask – even after you factor in the complexities of domestic violence and the mindset of many victims of domestic violence, who often defend the guy who just punched her out.
Still, is this something you should get suspended for?
And while we’re on the subject of suspensions, should Ray Rice have gotten a virtual death penalty for what he did?
If the prosecutor wanted to haul him in front of a jury I would have had no problem with that. If the jury found him guilty and the judge sentenced him to prison, again, no problem. But taking his livelihood away indefinitely strikes me as excessive.
Even the fans who wore Ray Rice jerseys to the Ravens next home game said what he did was wrong, that he should be punished, but as one fan said, it’s wrong to pretend he no longer exists.
The media, of course, have been showing their moral outrage over domestic violence in the NFL. They might have a tad more credibility (with me, anyway) if they did a few stories about domestic violence in the media. I’ll bet it’s at least as bad as in the NFL after you factor in gender and age. In fact, there’s at least one report that says domestic violence is lower in the NFL than in the young, male population at large.
The New York Times ran a big story about how, in the wake of the Ray Rice story, female sports reporters are finally being heard. Except I haven’t heard any of these supposedly strong, courageous women talk about Hope Solo, the U.S. women’s superstar soccer goalie, who continues to play despite the fact that she is scheduled to go on trial in November for assaulting her sister and nephew at a party.
I understand that women’s soccer isn’t in the same league as the NFL in the United States. And I also understand that a woman, generally speaking, doesn’t inflict as much damage as a man. Still, I get the impression that a lot of this outrage, especially in the liberal media, is really about furthering the agenda of liberal feminists. Or else, when they talk about how bad domestic violence is, they’d say a few words about women who beat men. And it’s not just Hope Solo.
The Centers for Disease Control did a survey a few years back, and guess what: 40 percent of domestic violence victims in the United States … are men.
Maybe those courageous women sports journalists whom the New York Times is applauding might want to comment on that.
Finally, let’s be clear: What Ray Rice – and other NFL players have done to women -- is both wrong and serious. But what the Word Police are doing is also wrong and serious … and scary and dangerous. But saying that too loudly can get you in a lot of trouble.