The abusers of America share power

by Gary Shelton on January 17, 2018 · 6 comments

in general

Friday, 4 a.m.

Marshall Faulk. Donovan McNabb. Heath Evans.

They are powerful men, big and strong and controlling. And each of them have been accused of sexual violence or harassment against women.

So you wish to cheer now?

Or have you finally had enough?

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Ray Rice. Greg Hardy. Ezekiel Elliot.

What do these abusers have in common? The ones from sports, from Hollywood, from politics? Together, they are rich, and they are famous, and they are surrounded by yes men to tell them how wonderful they are. Many of them are physically imposing. The women, they seem to believe, are lesser beings. After all, who's going to believe them?

More and more, you can compare the athletes of America to the politicians and the deal-makers of Hollywood. All have entitlement. All have power. Most of them have excuses.

Bill Cosby. Matt Lauer. Harvey Weinstein.

It is not new. It is not excused. It is not a private affair. It is the continuing misuse of women in today's society, and it is an epidemic. These are wives. These are mothers. And the extent of how women are subject to the rage and the whims of such men is a shame.

The thing is, a man doesn't have to be rich or powerful to harass and abuse women. It happens at every level of society. Lately, however, the epidemic seems to highlight men who should know better, men who are well-off and admired enough that they should not fall into the pattern..

Louis C.K. Stan Lee. Kevin Spacey.

Do you grow weary of the constance headlines? Does each one take a bit more from the world we know? It is a disgrace, and too often, we sit by. We watch the NFLPA rush to defend these men instead of turning away.

Granted, it is difficult to prove. The only thing as long as the charges are the denials. That doesn't change things. It is wrong. It is intolerable.

Mike Tyson. Floyd Mayweather. Larry Nassar.

The list grows on and on. Usually, it is the less famous, less fawned-over part of a couple who is getting beaten up. Usually, it is the weaker person, the person that the average fan does not care about. We are in a nation-wide epidemic where the powerful are the morally weak.

Have you seen the polls. Sixty-four percent of women told an ABC-Washington Post survey that they had experienced harassment at work.

James Franco. Warren Sapp. Eric Davis.

Once again, Jameis Winston is accused of groping an Uber driver. Wouldn't you like to see stronger evidence to defend him? Wouldn't you like to see any evidence to the contrary?

Ben Vereen. Gene Simmons. Dustin Hoffman.

Once, I interviewed several women from CASA over the abuse they had received. One woman was buried alive. One's ex-husband hold a gun to her head and pulled the trigger. One was held at gunpoint for 3 ½ hours.

And yet, the nature of domestic violence makes it one of the hardest allegations to punish. Greg Hardy cowered behind the courts. Ezekiel Elliott successfully fought the league for months.

Look, I know this is difficult. Often, the women involved risk their lifestyles to pursue punishment. That's a lot to ask.

Russell Simmons. Garrison Keillor. Jeremy Piven.

If the recent headlines from the entertainment world tell us anything, we aren't just talking about athletes. We aren't just talking about recent history. Men have been powerful for a very long time. We've all read whispers about the casting couch; evidently, those whispers were Weinstein's game plan.

What should the rest of us do? We should refuse to tolerate it. We should make sexual harassment an automatic disqualified.

Al Franken. Jeff Tambor. Steven Seagal.

This is about mothers...and daughters. If you have any of those, yes, this is your fight.

What should the sports leagues do? They should lengthen, not lessen, punishment. They should meet with the players associations so every incident is not automatically challenged to delay punishment as long as possible. If the case is clear, then toss the blighters out for a year. Maybe more.

This is serious stuff. This is life-threatening. And it seems never-ending.

When does it stop?

It stops when we recognize that domestic violence is a greater crime than cocaine, than steroids, than roughing the passer and than losing.

Isn't it about time?

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{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

Lisa Brown January 17, 2018 at 4:57 pm

Oh Gary! What a great piece! Thanks for mentioning CASA too. Lot’s of abused people do not even realize that there is help out there. It really is disappointing to see SO many headlines. Maybe this can finally be the tipping point for every person in our society to join forces, stop the silence, and finally say NO MORE shoving this under the rug. Well, we can only hope that the right people will hold others accountable in every day life: Fathers, Mothers, Brothers, Sisters, Friends….
Thanks again for your attention to this matter. 🙂


Gary Shelton January 17, 2018 at 9:13 pm

You’re welcome. You at CASA know how much I admire you all.


Rick Martin January 17, 2018 at 9:52 am

Did you forget to mention POTUS on purpose?


Gary Shelton January 17, 2018 at 9:14 pm

I did. I didn’t want people to get into an argument and miss the point.


Bill MYERS January 17, 2018 at 9:32 am

Gary I agree with you whole heartedly ! It is about time! But….some caution maybe warranted here. While all these men and women deserve to be heard …is it not out of the question to wonder if some of them are attacking with false accusations for various malicious reasons? I mean this thing is really snow balling! It seems to have become a trend! So if I wanted to smear a person’s reputation and wreck their life …I just have to go public with a story of abuse that is true or false ….no matter… the damage would be done. It seems that any kind of touching in the work place above a high five or a fist bump could be down right dangerous. So just to be safe I suggest that we all keep our hands to ourselves for the time being. Oh and be careful of what you say too! Stan Lee …really??


Gary Shelton January 17, 2018 at 9:16 pm

Of course there are statements to the contrary. It’s why I said accused.


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