Tag Archives: Concerns

What do we “know” about Adrian Peterson?

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ABC News: Minnesota Vikings Reverse Course, Suspend Adrian Peterson

In the early hours of the morning there was a surprise which took place in Viking’s Territory, or possibly New Jersey- wherever Zygi Wilf claimed as his at the time. Part of that surprise was Adrian Peterson, not surprisingly, being taken off of the Viking’s roster for Sunday’s game. The more surprising bit of information came from a mega organization making quick decisions, reversing said decision, on account of fiscal security, and what seems nothing more.

I wonder, is the child okay? Where is the child now? I hear AP is off the team, sponsors are dropping like flies, but little mention of anything else, except… there is more to come.

We sit here today, with our fantasy teams in disarray. My fantasy lifeblood has run out. This musical chairs game (with players) has me scrolling webpages for something more, for something better. Why do I do this? Because money makes me, even though I have little (well, all Minnesota taxpayer’s have stake in the new Viking’s stadium) invested in the actual game. This is a story about child abuse, due process, and motives of discussion, not a star player or his situation, mostly.

What has become apparent is we “know” what we believe we “know”, not what is objectively true. This is called interpretation. See: Post-Structuralism; and the Modern Episteme. We interpret from “reliable media sources” what we think we “know”. What we really “know” to be true about this matter is: child abuse is unacceptable and wrong, we are not judge or jury or executioner, American citizens are innocent until proven guilty, and we personally don’t “know” Adrian Peterson as a person at all. Sure, we cheer for him on Sundays to win for our “favorite” team (which every partially-sane politician in Minnesota seeking office has regurgitated in the last week, to ad nauseam), but we don’t “know” him know him.

We can all rest easy “knowing” that we won’t actually be embarrassed for what another person does, even if they are from Minnesota i.e. Michelle Bachmann. We can rest easy because we actually don’t “know” what happened, and WE won’t be guilty of said crimes- if it actually occurred in the first place; which it may or may not have: it’s 50/50 so far, in fairness.

Furthermore, I am moderately embarrassed about the latter person, who says the most hateful things of the president and his organization. I guess I am sort of not embarrassed; she doesn’t owe me anything, and if I hear something stupid coming from her I can change the channel, same as with the former, likewise the actions of both parties. I can ignore those. I am not an escapist, just a selective-perceptionist.

What we “know” is that we all have choices. We can choose to label Peterson whatever we want, and Michelle Bachmann whatever we want, and more. Adrian Peterson can choose to make poor decisions. The beauty of being a human being is we have the power to choose, like professional athletes and politicians, everyone makes mistakes (I am not an Adrian Peterson apologist either). We can make up our minds. Unlike other cases that are ongoing now, Ray Rice, we have no video proof (we do have photos; photo-shop pending), we have no agency over the matter, and we have no lot in what becomes of him or her. We have nothing to choose on. We can all agree that abuse is wrong. But we can’t really do anything else until we “know” more. Perhaps events transpire. Child abuse is wrong, but so is labeling a person as guilty when they may or may not be.
I mean, who actually decides that, passes down the conviction, and does the sentencing? Does this media attention skew the fairness of the trial?

I was watching the Crucible last night and realized that if a crazy person, or crazy organizations, or massively crazy corporations, or insane groups of people says anything about anyone, and agrees on it, it is dangerous. We all “know” what happened to Winona Ryder at the end of that movie. Damn…

What this actually boils down to is my fantasy football team. This whole ordeal with Adrian Peterson was the Providence of God (I use this in the John Winthrop-esque way). I had never played fantasy football before, while Adrian had been a spotless star, with a promising career. This all changed after I drafted him onto my fantasy team, everything changed. The first Sunday he would play for me, he would move up the field with tepid charisma, something had affected his ability. I watched myself sink into last place in standings, everyone laughed. I thought what could this be? And then, mid-week, it came to me via one of my ten-thousand checks of the ESPN fantasy page, it was all over my cellphone, and had become the hot button topic on Facebook: Adrian was indicted on these alleged abuses. I rest my case. Does anyone know what alleged means? It means: “(of an incident or a person) said, without proof, to have taken place or to have a specified illegal or undesirable quality.”

The aspect of football that proves scary in this case is the amount of money the owners and commissioners are willing to move and secure at any time, in any event; if shit goes bad for them personally. It’s not about the fans, but the money, the face value. They will forget their favorite players to save their financial situation; last week’s hero is today’s forgotten and exiled. Has anyone thought of the external cost of the NFL as a whole? Can we point fingers to how many concussed veteran athletes assaulted their loved ones due to trauma caused in career related injuries? I am not sure, I don’t know-

What I hear more about than anything in this case is lost sponsorships, not the kids, but the money. I think of Lance Armstrong finally admitting, well- not really, that he was doping… Gatorade dropped him, Livestrong dropped him. This is not unlike AP losing sponsors such as Nike (sort of), and the Viking’s losing Radisson Hotels, seriously. Pundits are asking- wondering, who will pay for naming rights to the new Viking’s stadium (besides the taxpayers that is), I am wondering are the kids all right? That is the highlight of this conversation: money. Who will pay the money? They want this person, labeled now a “child abuser” as far away from the Vikings franchise as possible. When we look back a month or so, or even a few days, where do we stand? How fickle are we to believe everything we hear?

What we do “know” is that we don’t “know” anything. These allegations could be frivolous and without warrant, they could be fact with proof positive. They could be fabricated by an ex-lover, put forth to ruin the goals and aspirations of certain people. The allegations could be true, AP could have abused his child(ren), and for that he deserves what is just; to be tried and sentenced. His children should have the right to a safe and secure living situation. However, if the charges are false, is it right that a person pay for a crime before he receives a sentence? If that be the case are his children worse off when their father loses his livelihood, and how firm will the NFL stand behind their star players after the fact?

There is no question abuse is wrong, child abuse, domestic abuse, etc.; abuse is wrong. Furthermore fabricating such abuse and speaking about it garrulously in the media is also wrong. Passing judgment on someone before they get their day in court is wrong. What if we are all wrong and it turns out this was just spin to get people talking about the NFL? This monster corporation, the NFL, wouldn’t be around today if it wasn’t good at talking about itself, getting itself talked about, or in general talking about getting excited about itself. This idea excites me. What the players do on and off the field neither affect our daily lives (unless we let them), or change the outcome of our day. The only reason we are talking about these “professional athletes” is because they do physically extraordinary feats, the keyword in this sentence being physical. If their goal is to be physically abusive on the field, who says they aren’t more prone to become more physically abusive off? And how does one turn that aggression off? The NFL pretty much promotes that we eat, sleep, and breathe football. What is there to do?

Hands down the most compelling part of this event is the idea that child abuse is wrong, however, and it seems to be trumped by money and sponsorships in comparison. The stories I have read, with little detail, and utilization of vagaries gets me to about this point: What makes society quick to judge, and how useful is that in the end?

A Safer Campus Commute? I think not…

          Day one on campus; nothing has changed in respect to commuting.  Well, if there was any change at all it was in the increased number of dangerous pedestrians, bicyclists, and motorists on campus.  As the U stated last year there would be changes on and around campus, still I see inattentive pedestrians, still I see people biking where they are not supposed to, and still I see people in cars, buses, and semis intimidating other commuters.  Little has changed since the idea contest for making traveling around campus safer, and the only thing it takes to notice this event is your eyeballs. 

          Let me explain: some people at campus have been in rodeos before; trying to bike, attempting to walk, and potentially driving safely around campus.  Others just got on their way this morning, and have amassed little concern with the rules of the road.  The latter have never been to their first rodeo. 

          First rodeo situation:  if you haven’t biked on or around campus in the midst of thousands of excited students on the first day of fall semester, it would be your first rodeo.  Watch out, be mindful, and know your role.  Put your stupid smartphone away and make it from point A to point B.  -Safely.   

          Upon biking to the university this morning for class, I took extra precaution, mentally preparing myself as I do regularly, as I suggested in my concept for a safer campus commute, as the U has so generously used in their emails/slogans:  be aware of your surroundings.  I’ll take the credit, but I won’t win the award, or be cited, (an award that was presumably never given out- how shrewd).   

          Arriving on campus, past the new Target, and the face-lifted Dinkytown, how economic- (oh) progressive, I found a vast amount of amateur bicyclists mingling in packs, not following the paths, wearing helmets on handlebars- abrasive, while generally having small regard for their surroundings.  I took note of a driver maneuvering a car while texting, and an aimless young athletic male (BRO) biking, weaving his way through the bike lane and into the street while on his phone, fedora affixed atop his blond hair streaming back, held down by a bandana. 

          I have no positive words for the kind of idiocy I have seen on campus when it comes to getting around.  I predict a record number of transit related accidents, injuries, and worse (other euphemisms here), this year, 2014.  This is not because people genuinely like putting themselves in danger, or under buses so to speak, but because the life within their phone is evidently more important than the life in front of their bodies. 

          I am not being pessimistic, I am being honest.  Whoever won the contest to make the campus safer deserves a gold star, because they persuaded it/sort of didn’t win it, and slyly.  I applaud you.  I would have done the same but I am more of an outsider when it comes to making friends high up; I won’t do the photo shoot if I don’t like the cameraman (metaphor). 

           The U is no safer now for commuters than it was a year ago.  As a matter of thought, it is most likely more dangerous because people feel that it is safer.  Telling individuals this and that without actually having them observe the act does not prove a point.  Take a seat in the grass and watch.  In time one will see this conundrum acted out over and over again.  The situation is somewhat entertaining, if you aren’t involved with it.

          When I sat taking in the sun between classes, near Coffman Union, I noticed one obvious sign of the times; something that’s been there, but seemed more prevalent today, people were engaged more with their electronics than anything else, they were living in a virtual world which exists in their hands.  They seldom took in the views before them, they noticed little in their path.  On such a beautiful day it was sad and dangerous, heads down; stuck in a box- dangerously isolated.   

          If the campus wants change they must cite people for walking brazenly down the center of the bike lanes, while texting, or not- just being ignorant.  They must position public safety attendants at problem areas, to direct students, until they can finally read signage and adhere to the brightly painted traffic instructions.  They, the university, must do their best to capture the attention of those on the go. 

          When I left this morning, I was nervous for the first day of school, as are most.  That exhilarating feeling of taking in knowledge, and expanding my experience with education had me trepid, something I live for.  Yet when I came to campus I was more shaken because of my safety and the safety of others, the safety directly related to the lack of attention and ignorance/apathy people put into their movements.  A safe campus requires thoughtfulness, and a conscious mindset.  If I am worried about selfies and notifications I am not worried about crosswalks and lines on the ground; appropriate signals, on my inevitable journey to and fro. 

Which is more important? 

Also see:  Woman fatally struck by Green Line train was Mpls. attorney