Uh, yeah.  We like being violent, and we love watching and imagining violence.  Tens of millions of Americans elected a president who physically stalked his opponent during their debate, and whose face goes red as a baboon butt when he shrieks Lock her up to shrieking crowds.  Violent Video Games R Us.  Violent Rap Lyrics R Us.  If a NASCAR monster doesn’t go flying off into the stands lacerating a family we feel cheated.  

We’re pretty fucking protective of the football players designated to be competitively violent for us on a regular basis.  They are our heroes.  We overfeed them and give them special drugs to make them scary to look at and capable of immense leverage against weaker people; we dress them up like monsters and moan with bliss as they fracture and concuss.   Every single day of their lives we cover them with be violent kisses and shower them with be violent fame and fortune, and when they’re violent off the field (why wouldn’t they be violent off the field?) we cover it up.  The police, the university administration, the media, the sports leagues, the rest of us: We cover it up, and at the end of each year we give the most violent of them trophies.  “The NFL looks for players who are aggressive — and, by definition, that means they have to be OK with harming themselves and others.” 

You can write all the high-minded articles you like about how we all agree that violence against women by the most violent heroes among us is shocking and wrong; you can talk about penalties and solutions.  

It often seems that only video evidence forces the NFL and its teams to take a victim of domestic violence seriously. Even when action is taken, the league hopes the public’s memory will fade. “[The NFL] wait it out, because fans have a very short attention span,” says [one observer]. “There is no financial reason for them to not continue the status quo.”

Instead, if change is to come, fans are going to have to take action. “So painful as it’s going to be, we’re going to have to boycott teams who fail to meet basic standards of human decency,” [says another]. “So as a society we have to certainly send the message that hiring and retaining players who are perpetrators of violence will result in harm to their bottom line.”

Uh, who’s “we”?  Have you noticed many women, who might be expected to care most about the pummeling of their sex, in football and hockey stands?  In sports organizations?  For successful college and professional teams, failing to meet the basic standards of human decency is job one; failing to hire and retain perpetrators of violence is the quickest way to get yourself fired as recruitment coach.  

We don’t even care that our biggest heroes go nuts (who wouldn’t?), ending up in jail or gaga or dead or killed after years of getting bashed to bits as fucking freak shows for the rest of us.  Really, mes petites: I wouldn’t hold your breath on the whole violence-against-women bit.

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