Once called “Quick Hit With Champ,” now Joe “Champ” Tanksley gives you “Champ’s Rundown,” which is also the title of his upcoming video podcast, which is coming soon and will be available here and on We Are Regal Radio’s YouTube page.
Ray MacDonald got a second chance provided by the Chicago Bears but unfortunately he also doubled down on his stupidity by being detained not once, but twice by the law this week.
It only took the one arrest — one for domestic violence and child endangerment — one which echoed the problems which made the one-year signee such a controversial acquisition when the Bears brought him on earlier this year, enough for the franchise to let him go. It was a move that was summed up for most in two words by Kyle Long: “Good Riddance.”
We have and should continue to acknowledge the problem of domestic violence among athletes and more notably the NFL. For too long the NFL has ignored this problem until the Ray Rice incident and its video evidence made the behavior of some of the league’s players’ impossible to ignore.
Many people want to blame the NFL for allowing this behavior to continue and supporting players that have been involved in alleged criminal incidents, more so than the NFL, I want to place the blame on our justice system.
High profile people are too often convicted in the court of public opinion before the due process or our legal system has run its course. Teams want to win and the NFL does not want to risk losing a locker room or key players in it due to lack of support — they are trying to appease and continually develop athletes who are among the best in the world at what they do and with whom a lot of time and money is invested. Decisions are often forced into before all the facts in these cases become clear.
Personally, my belief in general is that if players an make it through the justice system and are exonerated or fulfill their legal requirements they deserve the opportunity to continue playing if their sport considers them eligible to play.
Ray MacDonald’s case is different, though. This week’s arrest have marked him up to half a dozen in his recent past. Yes, he has been investigated and as of this writing has not been charged with any crime, but his rap sheet more and more has him leaning towards a true jail sentence.
We shouldn’t give up on second chances, we shouldn’t give up on the belief that people can be rehabilitated. It is those two beliefs that the Bears based their decision on to sign MacDonald. In the team’s case it can be viewed as low-risk gamble, they did not guarantee him any money and they made themselves available to cut the troubled defensive lineman prior to any games being played without a salary cap hit.
However, MacDonald basically said screw your faith in me, Chicago Bears, I’m busy engaging in a pattern of bad decision making and reckless criminal behavior that shouldn’t have been ignored and that will splash crap upon your franchise’s reputation as mines goes completely down the drain.
The Bears’ decision makers — George McCaskey, Ryan Pace, coach John Fox and defensive coordinator Vic Fangio — probably figured that any reasonable person with an opportunity for second chance would take all steps possible to insure nothing jeopardized that opportunity, but MacDonald is not that, at the least he is very sick right now and in need of help being on a football field won’t allow. At worst, he is a full-fledged monster.
McDonald’s victims know these things first hand and now the Bears and the NFL can no longer ignore it.
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