I’m really not sure what I’m more upset about. That he hit a child (his OWN child) with a STICK. More than once. Hard enough to leave marks. And that he considers this discipline. Or that he behaved this way while he was supposedly a role model, and still is a role model, despite his actions. Or that he was suspended, and then reinstated when the team and the NFL heard they were losing sponsors if he didn’t play. Or that he was suspended again when the NFL got worried they would lose all of their sponsors if he did play. Or that he will still make ELEVEN MILLION DOLLARS this year, despite not playing and despite HITTING A CHILD WITH A STICK. And all of this is only ONE incident regarding ONE public figure.
I have never hidden my disdain for any famous person who behaves badly, knowing they are watched by millions of young people who look up to them. We have come to idolize our athletes, actors and actresses, musicians, and politicians to the point where we are blind to their bad behavior. We have even gone so far as to make their bad behavior seem cool. We make excuses for them, and make them into some sort of gods who can do no wrong. Teammates, coaches, aides, and agents stand by them, no matter what truths come out.
I’ve also never kept quiet as to how I feel about the total misalignment of rates of pay in our society. We not only lionize them, but we reward them with huge salaries. Our young people can choose to be teachers, nurses, cooks, or sales clerks, and will always struggle to make ends meet. But they can also choose to become athletes, actors and actresses, or musicians, and will be guaranteed to never worry about money again. How did we arrive at this pay scale? Who decided that a quarterback is worth so much more than a kindergarten teacher? We invest zillions of dollars in sports, politics, and entertainment when our schools have to scrape by with tight budgets, and people don’t have enough to eat. But all that money stuff is something we have brought on ourselves, by coming to worship these idols. (And when I say “we”, I do NOT mean me!)
Even putting all the inequities in monetary compensation aside, I am still stuck on the guy that hits his kid with a stick, and it’s ok. Or the one who knocks his girlfriend unconscious in an elevator, and it’s ok. Or the one who rapes a gal in a bar bathroom, and it’s ok. Or the one who holds dogfights, and it’s ok. If we keep saying it’s ok, it will be ok. It’s so very wrong, but it’s all going to be ok.