April 25, 2010

Are Male Athletes Wife Beaters?

A column in today's Star by Garth Woolsey meanders around that question, sorta.

Some Pennsylvania guy murdered his wife after his beloved Pittsburgh Penguins lost the Ottawa Senators in triple overtime the other night. Apparently, to sports fans, there is a joke in here somewhere. I'll be right back; I'm still looking for it.

This leads to the question of whether male athletes are more prone to acts of domestic violence in their private lives; some think they are over-represented, and that raises the question of how they deal with anger or rage.

I've known several pro athletes over the years. If any of them had laid a hand on his wife, I would have called the police myself. Are they somewhat spoiled? Sure. Can they be demanding? Of course. But unless there is drug or alcohol abuse involved, I don't know that they seem anymore unruly than a regular guy. And that's the point here: Mr. Penguin Lover was no athlete - he was a frustrated hockey fan. An unemployed miserable guy who banged in his wife's head with a hammer then set the house of fire to cover it up. This had as much to do with sports as it did xylophones.

There are a lot of high profile male athletes who have been arrested for domestic abuse. Why do we know? Because of that 'high profile'. For some reason, we care more about a guy who earns 9 million a year that we will never meet than we do about someone living down the street. High profile model Naomi Campbell hits people in the head with phones. I think that's pretty abusive too.

It's been my experience that people who have an outlet - a sport or a hobby - are more likely to be balanced in other areas of their life. It's more likely those who sit around slugging back beers and screaming at their wife for nagging them to get a job who get tipped into murderous motion when the only thing they're living for - a professional team of men who probably don't sit around in their underwear living their life with a remote in one hand a beer in other - disappoints them.

I don't know the facts of that case, any more than I know if Elin Woods took a wedge to her lying husband's noggin.

What I do know is that domestic violence isn't funny, regardless of whether it plays out in the headlines or under the radar.

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Blogger Chris Brown (not the felon) said...

Xylophone players have the highest reported level of Hamster abuse of any profession. If a xylophone player loses a competition (and it wouldn't be a competition if SOMEONE didn't lose, now, would it?) then pack the hamsters and leave town.

And if a politician wasn't lying... would he really be speaking? You see? it is all relative.

April 25, 2010 10:42 AM  
Blogger Lorraine said...

How'd we get to politicians? I mean, they're never far from my radar, but still.

And we all know that politicians don't hit their spouses. They're too busy running away to their soul mates in Argentina, getting $200 haircuts or tapping shoes in public restrooms....

April 25, 2010 10:50 AM  
Blogger Chris Brown (not the felon) said...

Er... sorry about that, chief. I was just busy delving into the joy that is to become the HST and lying politicians had percolated to the top of my "Things to Hate" list (a list that has become concerningly large, incidentally.)

You may strike that part from the record.

April 25, 2010 11:22 AM  
Anonymous buzzwhack said...

A man watching a hockey game on television doesn't count as an athelete to me. The athletes who did abuse their spouses likely would have done it no matter what their job is. They remind me of the last line in the Rolling Stones song, "Sweet Virginia"

April 25, 2010 2:26 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Lorraine, Hope all is well. Thought I'd just jump in here with this somewhat related piece of info. You may be aware of this already but there has been some documented research(conducted in 12 US cities) citing the the Superbowl, (or as some say -- Domestic Violence Day) and a period time after it to be a spike in domestic violence. Varying studies, varying results. I have some of my own thoughts on it but I'll leave it to the experts ...

(I forgot how to set my identity)

April 29, 2010 1:33 AM  
Blogger Lorraine said...

I remember something about that, now that you mention it Christine. Thanks.

What kind of crazy backassed nation produces a bunch of has-beens or never-wases who value this crap above all else?

April 30, 2010 8:38 AM  
Blogger marcelleqb said...

I wouldn't be surprised if there was a correlation between people on steroids and abuse, which would explain why pro athletes are more likely.

April 30, 2010 1:45 PM  

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