Florida State is ranked #1 in College Football. The school has not lost game, has never been trailing a game, and has never had a win by less than 16 points. The dominance is unreal. But, recently, the focus has not been on Florida State’s unbelievably perfect season, knock on wood, but the allegations against the team’s star quarterback, captain, and potential Heisman winner Jameis Winston. Winston is an animal. The guy runs a 4.6 forty time, weighs 225 pounds, and is 6’4”. But, he was also recently brought up on charges for 1st degree sexual assault, rape. But this morning, all charges were dropped. Jameis Winston is not being suspended by the school at all, and he can play in the ACC Championship. All of this “rape” talk is being thrown out the window, as ESPN covered the story, but now is beginning to fade it out of the media’s attention very quickly.
Now, being a skeptic, I started to think a lot about this court case. First off, there was a report by ESPN a few weeks ago saying that Florida State’s athletic director offered the girl pressing charges a ridiculous amount of money to not prosecute. Second, Winston was never threatened with suspension from the school even with the charges. And third, the story was covered by ESPN constantly, but never once did they discuss the legal repercussions Winston would face. Instead, they said he would just miss the ACC Championship and the National Championship games; once again, knock on wood because the latter of those two is depending on winning the first. And this ridiculous, seemingly nepotistic legal corruption got me thinking about this question: If a normal student at Florida St. student was brought up on the exact same charges, would they have been acquitted? I really do not know the answer to that question, but I think the case would have been handled differently; the girl’s word would have had much greater power in court, the lawyer would obviously be less expensive and “good,” and I think the case would have never been thrown out of like this. Winston may be an amazing football player, but he is also an American just like you and me. And I think that the legal system confused that a bit; looking at him not as an American subject to the same legal repercussions as every other citizen, but rather as the Heisman frontrunner who could bring a new type of game to the NFL and sell millions of tickets down the road. Now, I am NOT saying that Winston raped this girl, and I do not want to accuse him of that. But I do think that sport’s players, and celebrities in general have certain freedoms that normal Americans do not have, and that is not moral in my eyes.
Also, this is not the first time that sports players have been “let off” a bit easily:
1) On January 31st, 2000, Ray Lewis, last year’s Super Bowl MVP and now a commentator for ESPN, “aided” in the killing of 2 individuals after an incident in an Atlanta night club. He lied to police saying that he was not at the scene, but after testimony proved he was there, he was put in jail at $1 million bail. He posted the bail, was released, had all perjury charges dropped, and then acted as a witness to put his two “friends” who he assisted in the killing, behind bars. A little fishy. Here’s a good article about it:
2) 2008: Ben Rothlisberger, star quarterback for the Pittsburgh Steelers, is brought up on charges of rape. A year later, both sides refuse to speak to the media and have all charges dropped. McNulty, the prosecution, refuses to comment on the case, and when asked if she received money for settlement, walks away from cameras. Rothlisberger was suspended 6 games for the 2011 season for violating the NFL’s “Personal Conduct” policy. But, after 4 games, he returns because Roger Goodell, the commissioner of the NFL says he’s “…turned his life around.” Here’s a good article summarizing this:
And the two examples above are two of the hundreds of examples of sports players being let off of crimes in a very shady manner. Now, like I said above, I need to reiterate that I do not know and will never know if the aforementioned athletes committed these crimes, and I have no right to accuse them of doing so. So for clarification, I am NOT saying Ray Lewis, Ben Rothlisberger, or Jameis’ Winston had corrupt cases and were let off because of the status they have. But, it is a little fishy that they all had charges dropped so easily, when there is no real evidence supporting their claims of innocence. I can say though, with decent confidence, that if I were brought up on the same charges as any of these 3 individuals, I would have not only served jail time, but would never find a job after my sentence. And that is NOT right. I am an American just like these guys, and deserve to be viewed the same in a court of law, but that is just not the case. Because when stepping into a court room, Jaemis Winston and I are NOT viewed the same.
Would love some comments,