A Stones Throw 7-25-13


I don’t know about you, but I am really getting tired of reading and hearing about Treyvon Martin and George Zimmerman. Still, I have several questions and comments. After this I promise I will not bring either name up in my column again.

First, I wonder if the roles were reversed – if Treyvon had the gun and was chasing an unarmed Zimmerman – would Treyvon have been found “not guilty” under Florida’s “stand your ground” law? Would Treyvon killing Zimmerman be considered self-defense? With the same jury?

I don’t think so.

What if they both had guns? And Treyvon lived to walk away – would the “stand your ground” law protect him? Would the jury protect him?

Not a chance.

At the same time, it really bothers me that President Obama felt it necessary to stand in front of America and use the Treyvon Martin/George Zimmerman case to discuss race-relations problems in America.

I haven’t seen President Obama stand before America and deplore the killings of almost 50 African American men since January 1 in Indianapolis – or the nearly 30 non-African American’s who have been murdered in Indianapolis during the same time period.

I haven’t seen the White House comment on the innocent by-standers who have been shot in Cincinnati over the past several months.

Why is Treyvon Martin more important than the thousands of sons and daughters who have disappeared or been murdered in America since George Zimmerman shot and killed him?

I understand the media likes to jump on a subject and ride it to death.

But the President?

Were his comments intended to calm or to incite?

Unfortunately, our President is not the only one to jump on the Martin/Zimmerman bandwagon. Late night comedians have used a tragic event for comic fodder time and again – and the Martin/Zimmerman debacle is no exception.

Recently Jay Leno was commenting about the “not guilty” verdict for George Zimmerman. Leno commented that the latest fall-out of the verdict is that former NFL tight end Aaron Hernandez has petitioned to have his murder trial moved to Florida.

Where else can a man with a Latin-American surname who shot and killed an African American get justice? Oh – and Hernandez has petitioned to have the same Zimmerman jury.

If that wasn’t enough, Leno later said that if acquitted, Hernandez was a natural to join the Cincinnati Bengals.

Then, last week Leno showed several athletes as they walked the red carpet into the ESPYs awards. The last clip he showed was that of several prisoners dressed in orange jumpsuits being led off a bus.

His comment – here are the Cincinnati Bengals arriving at the ESPYs.

This reminded me of a column written by Paul Daugherty for Sports Illustrated a few weeks ago. In his column, Daugherty slammed the constant references that the Cincinnati Bengals were nothing more than a group of thugs and criminals. While admitting that the Bengals have had their share of legal problems, Daugherty wrote that the Bengals were no better – nor no worse than other NFL teams.

As a reference to his comments, Daugherty introduced the NFL Arrests Data Bank where the U~T San Diego newspaper has tracked arrests of NFL players since 2000. (www.utsandiego.com/nfl/arrests-database) In the U~T San Diego database, which the paper describes as arrests more serious than a speeding ticket, there are currently 664 recorded arrests along with their eventual outcome – if known.

In reviewing the list of arrests, they range from overly tinted glass to murder. (I guess dark windows are a worse crime than speeding.)

The website allows a person to sort the database by player’s name, or by individual team, or even by position.

When I looked at the Bengals, I found 40 of the 664 arrests involved Bengals players. It must be noted, that this does not mean 40 different Bengals – it only means there are 40 arrests on record in which a Bengals player was involved.

When I looked at the Indianapolis Colts arrest records, I found 24 of the 664 recorded arrests involved Colts players.

Does this mean the Colts have better citizens as players than do the Bengals?

If pure numbers determine the answer, then the New England Patriots are among the best – clean living – take home to mother – All American men. After all, since 2000 only 16 Patriots have been arrested.

Of course one of them is Aaron Hernandez who has been arrested for one murder and is a leading suspect in at least two more murders.

All I can say is that the Patriots always try to be the best at everything they do.

Both on the field and off the field?

Speaking of NFL arrests, another interesting article – this one from Deadspin – states that, based on national statistics, the likelihood of a NFL player being arrested for DUI is 11% less than that of non-NFL adult males. Further, the likelihood of a NFL player being arrested for assault is 23% lower than that of other males and the likelihood of being arrested for drugs is 59% lower.

On the other hand, NFL players are more likely to be arrested on a weapons charge than their non-NFL adult male counterparts by more than a two to one ratio.

While the first set of statistics indicate that when the total number of NFL players is taken into consideration, the actual arrest records would indicate that these players are more law-abiding than the average adult male citizen.

Except for when it comes to weapons.

I can only surmise that NFL players believe in the “stand your ground” concept.

I wonder how many of them plan to move to Florida. . . Mike Cooney