I haven’t written in a long while, I was off putting together a package for a literary agent for a non-fiction narrative about prison. Since she wanted a couple of chapters I was forced to go beyond the chapter outline, snatches of excerpts, quick character sketch minimum and dive back into my journals – just to get the full flavor.
It worked for the chapters, it didn’t work for sleep.
The justice system was brought back in all its broken glory in my notes and in my dreams and in my nightmares. Each has a perfectly valid viewpoint. All this in time for me to tune into the ‘DeflateGate’ ridiculousness where I immediately read and/or heard the following: 1). Tom Brady is guilty because (a) he wouldn’t need an attorney if he wasn’t; (b) if he was really innocent his lawyer would work for free; 2). Tom Brady and Robert Kraft are now experiencing the same thing poor people experience everyday when dealing with the ‘justice system.’
I have refrained from commenting on ‘DeflateGate’ beyond a rather snarky tweet wondering how I missed it when Roger Goodall regained credibility (was there a ceremony? Plaque? Certificate?) After what I’ve been sorting out over the past month, I feel somewhat compelled to say something.
So, attorney, former inmate who successfully sued in Federal District Court for his release from a hell hole, what does the NFL’s handling of this mess say about the criminal justice system?
Not. A. Thing.
A billionaire supporting a multi-millionaire married to another multi-millionaire fighting with a multi-millionaire who represents a multi-billion dollar corporation that the first billionaire is a member off is by definition something that has no correlation to the criminal justice system whatsoever. The fact that the stakes are mostly prestige and who has the biggest dick instead of being shackled, cuffed, tossed into holes for any number of years only to be released and unable to find work and … just makes it more meaningless
The worse outcome for the Patriots is losing Brady for 4 games. There is no worse outcome for Brady, those who already adore him will continue to adore him; those who already hate him will hate him more – lots more – if he wins, then finds a cure for cancer, and feeds everyone in Gillette Stadium by multiplying the nachos and hotdogs at halftime.
However, the way the rest of the universe, mostly composed of non multi-millionaires/billionaires is commenting on it says a real lot about WHY we have the system we have. No long explanation here: ignorance.
There’s no other way to explain nos. 1 and 2 above, to start. First, anyone, never mind a very well paid African-American ‘journalist’ who is forever outing the racist policies of the teams he covers (in a city that deserves him) who thinks only guilty people have lawyers is just … beyond … well … nah, no need to finish, he’s headed like a train that’s lost its brakes toward a defamation suit, or worse, any day now. I can only hope he really thinks the truth will set him free, wanders into court alone and we never, ever here from the ignorant, odious prick again.
I hope it’s pretty needless to say the African-American writer who wrote that Bob Kraft and Tom Brady now know how poor people feel in the justice system has no idea what the hell he is talking about for the simple reason not a single one of the poor people he’s referencing have ever seen a $2,500 an hour lawyer in their lives, never mind had one represent them.
As a matter of fact, I’m willing to bet that pretty much every single poor person in the United States currently being held pending trial would trade a 4 week suspension and a few headlines with whatever they’re facing armed only with an overworked public defender.
Then there are idiots like the rabid white sports guy on Sirius who foams and rants about Brady’s guilt without, admittedly, ever having read a single page of any report. What’s reported by others, especially the NFL is good enough for him. A complete and total lack of intellectual curiosity is one thing, pairing it with blind belief in an organization that denied the effects of head injuries for decades is just plain terrifying. The only possible excuse is that he was one of those men the NFL said was fine after 40 or 50 concussions. But, alas, he is not, he never played a team sport in his life.
Scariest of all – for the future of this country, no less – are the regular people who tweet, blog, post, call talk radio and go off in apoplectic rages at Brady’s ‘refusal’ to hand over his phone for the investigation.
They speak and write as if this is some bona-fide investigation run by an authority that must be obeyed. It’s also more than a little scary that they don’t seem to know that everything anyone texts, or snaps, or calls, lives on. And on. Replace, burn, destroy, do whatever you will, the phone dies but its spirit lives.
It’s scarier still that they think the NFL has the right to compel anyone to hand over anything without a court order. If they think the NFL has that right, what the hell rights do they ascribe to the governmental agencies that can really do damage? Do they think they have any rights to resist?
Look, I don’t know what Brady did or did not do. I played rugby into my 30s and soccer into my, ah, er, longer, and I know for a fact unless the balls were blimps or limp folds of pig skin it made no difference whatsoever in a 45-7 waxing.
I do know that blind acceptance of a Welles report that was edited by the NFL and thereby no longer independent; being adjudicated a cheater, appealing, then having the same guy hear the appeal; dismissing ‘all that science stuff’ are symptoms of much greater import than a four game suspension for a guy who would still be going to the Hall of Fame if he started a baby chick stomping league after retirement.
It means a great deal of the people caterwauling about this 24/7 are only interested in judgement, not in a fair process. And that’s a problem, a very large, societal problem that bodes ill for serious judicial reform. Because it should be the other way around.
Unless, of course, hatred of all things Patriots has temporarily blinded these people and as soon as the Pats revert back to their comedic ineptitude of the early 80s, they’re okay with such minor matters as due process.