Saturday, July 6, 2013

The BBC's offfensive lines

It happened, again, a story so bafflingly stupid that it makes my toes curl.  In the BBC, there is a story, "The offensive line", that is about crime and NFL players.  In it, they conclude - mind you, conclude - that because the arrest rate of NFL players is 1 in 47 (instead of 1 in 6 for their age and gender cohort) that NFL players behalf considerably better than the average person.

At no point does anyone consider, even briefly, any intervening hypothesis as to why NFL players should be arrested 1/7th as often as men of their age.  Such as, perhaps, that NFL players are not likely to be arrested because they're professional sports figures, not to mention rich.

I grant, that sort of questioning requires both the ability to ask questions and the desire to do research, but both seem in slight demand in newspapers.  Still, the idea that professional athletes, along with other rich and famous people, are given numerous breaks by law enforcement isn't a real reach, not to mention the ability to hide many crimes that comes along with wealth - when you live in a big house with good soundproofing on a large lot and all your neighbors do the same, well, not a lot of calls get made when you disturb the peace . . . or beat the shit out of your girlfriend.  (All NFL players are rich.  Their base pay is around $400K a year.)

I mean, every time I read a biography of a sports figure, I'm just stunned at the crazy shit they get away with, shit I am quite sure would get me arrested for everything from rape to assault if I did it.  Likewise, my friends who have been college athletes just have crazy stories of fights and crazy parties where the cops came by but, well, it's the college football team, so they just got off with a warning.  So, both in sports biographies and according to my personal experience, yeah, athletes get off real light from the authorities.

So, it isn't reaching to say that perhaps there's a reason why NFL players aren't arrested as much as their poorer, less famous cohorts.  Yea, verily, an obvious reason.  But why bother actually researching something.  It's much easier to find some raw data and write a couple of hundred words off the top of your head.

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