Okay, so it’s Thursday and things have gotten increasingly New England in New England. For those of you living in bomb shelters, the Antonio Brown/Patriots era hasn’t really got off to the best start. A couple days ago, Brown’s former trainer filed a civil suit in Florida, citing three separate incidents of sexual assault and I have some scattered thoughts on the issue…
First off, if the Patriots knew nothing about this situation prior to the signing, they’re completely off the hook here. If you get invited to a “simple house party,” but show up and see a bunch of people in animal costumes dry humping on the living room floor, I’m not going to suggest you’re a weirdo; however, if you remain at that party, you’re conceding benefit of the doubt.
That said, what makes this whole ordeal a tad different is that this is a civil suit, which means it’s virtually a “he said/she said” sort of deal. In other words, nothing’s been confirmed and it’s likely nothing will.
Over the last year or so, sexual assault allegations have been pretty hot in the streets. Seemingly half of Hollywood fell victim to the “Me Too” movement, which is a great thing; however, I can’t say I agree with everything the movement inspired.
For starters, it’s perpetuated our already flawed shoot first/ask questions later culture. The plight of the accused in this country mirrors the plight of the indicted and I think that’s a load of bullshit. Due process is one of the most important policies we can uphold in a society; dismissing it is simply primitive in nature and the consequences can be devastating.
I won’t use names obviously but a friend from college told me a story about one of his high school friends who was accused of rape. Evidently, he had a pretty solid relationship with the dude prior to the accusation, but all it took was the point of a finger and a couple months for everything to completely dissipate.
A year passed and, by that point, the kid was essentially forced to move towns. It wasn’t until a year later that my buddy learned the girl who initially accused him made the entire incident up. Apparently she pleaded mental illness and was given a lollipop for her efforts.
Ummm, that girl should be in fucking jail…
When you get accused of something like that, it’s not just your checking account on the line. It’s your reputation, which affects EVERYTHING from your academic life, to your social life, to your occupational life, to your family life. Every Christmas, your aunt has to mentally introduce you as “Yeah, that’s my nephew—the rapist.” Even something as simple as a trip to the bank is smothered in social anxiety.
So yeah, that’s why I’m skeptical about these things until all of the information is on the table. The allegations—as well as the consequences—are FAR too severe for me, or anyone else to do otherwise.
Obviously I hope justice is served in one form or another but, as of right now, if the Patriots release this dude, they’re contributing to a remarkably dangerous precedent…
– Joey Boats (@joey_boats)