Identify any biases or fallacies you detect and any words the author uses to impart a certain message. What words
or phrases could you replace to change the reader's opinion?
here is the article that I am working on:
Chris Freind: Why Antonio Brown should not be suspended
What do the New England Patriots and Donald Trump have in common?
Both make people angry because they win.
Some disagree with the president's policies, and others dislike his brash personality. But most of all, there is an aversion to Mr. Trump because of his improbable win and penchant for coming out on top. Likewise, the Patriots, being not just a dynasty, but the most successful NFL team in history, evoke intense jealousy throughout the country.
Perhaps that is why the Patriots are being hammered so unfairly for not suspending newly acquired wide receiver Antonio Brown over civil allegations against him. Those criticizing the Pats and the NFL either don't realize, or don't care, that what they advocate further erodes the principle of innocent until proven guilty.
That this issue merits a column is telling. It should be a non-starter, but the fact that the Brown "case" continues to build steam and garner salacious headlines mandates a response.
Here is the situation:
1) This author has opined on the NFL in various columns, including running back Adrian Peterson, and likened NFL labor practices to slavery; lawsuits from former players over concussions; and the questionable leadership of Commissioner Roger Goodell. But it was the league allowing players to kneel during the National Anthem - unquestionably not a player's right, by the way - that has kept many people's NFL channel turned off permanently.
The league, however, now has the opportunity to somewhat redeem itself, if it doesn't cave to pressure from the always-offended crowd.
2) At issue is the criticism that Mr. Brown wasn't suspended last week - by either the NFL or the Patriots - and, in fact, played. Why? Because he has a civil lawsuit pending against him.
That bears repeating. Because an NFL player faces a civil case winding its way through the courts, many are clamoring for him to be suspended.
Yes, the lawsuit alleges sexual assault and rape. But that doesn't change the fact that the case is civil.
There is no police investigation, and there is no criminal prosecution in the works. So if this is a private civil matter between two people with differing accounts of what transpired, why is anyone making it an issue?
3) The victim, a former trainer to Mr. Brown who claims to have been assaulted on three occasions, is seeking financial compensation. Fine. That's her right. Why she chose not to press criminal charges is her business, but the bottom line is that she did not pursue prosecution. Mr. Brown's lawyer claims they were in a "consensual personal relationship, (and) any sexual interaction with Mr. Brown was entirely consensual." It is a classic "he-said, she-said," and no judgments can, or should, be made until more facts come to light. That's why God made the court system.
So it begs the question as to why Brown should be suspended. Jealousy of the Patriots' success seems to be the only logical answer, because punishing someone who hasn't even had his day in civil court is anathema to everything for which America stands.
Innocent until proven guilty should also apply when a player faces criminal charges. That said, depending on the nature of the alleged crimes, as well as any public evidence (such as damning video), the call can be reasonably made to suspend a player, with pay, until his legal situation is resolved.
But that's not what we're talking about here. Civil proceedings should never - ever - result in the banishment of a player.
4) The NFL is conducting its own investigation. But why? Sure, if the commissioner believes Brown violated the NFL's personal conduct policy, he can place him on the "exempt" list, meaning Brown could not play or practice with the Patriots. But by the NFL looking into a civil matter and possibly rendering a quick decision, it is, in effect, attempting to supersede the judiciary of the United States. It's obvious the league thinks itself omnipotent, but even for the NFL, this is taking the power trip entirely too far.
5) Critics are pointing out that neither Brown nor his agent were forthcoming to the Patriots about the civil suit prior to the Pats' signing the wider receiver. That's a totally separate issue. If true, then the team has every right to take action. But the two issues are apples and oranges, and should not be conflated.
6) Par for the course, the floodgates have opened against Brown, as every day more negative stories emerge - mostly unrelated to the civil matter - about Brown's personal life. He is arrogant. He doesn't pay his bills. And - no joke - that he exhibited excessive flatulence at his doctor's office after showing up late for an appointment - and laughing about it. You can't make that up.
The massive tide of intolerance sweeping America has a consistent pattern: make accusations no matter how baseless, or how long ago something allegedly occurred; demonize anyone who dares defend the innocent; publish irrelevant stories that serve only to "pile-on" - damage to reputations be damned; and cast swift judgments bereft of facts. And when the innocent turn out to be just that, issue no apologies while chalking up the victim as "collateral damage" in the war against freedom.
The more that "we the people" allow these witch hunts to continue, afraid of being called "racist," "bigoted," and "misogynist" by the small but vocal social media Lefties, the more the rights of every American disappear.
7) Antonio Brown, while disliked on a personal level by many because of his antics, is just the latest in a long string of victims:
• Alex Rodriquez: suspended for steroid use, for an entire season, despite never failing a drug test.
• Tom Brady: four-game suspension for his unproven role in "Deflate-gate," with the NFL justifying its punishment by stating that it was "more probable than not" that Brady was aware of underinflated footballs.
• Members of Duke University's men's lacrosse team accused of rape in 2006, an accusation proven to have been completely fabricated. Before being exonerated, the players were demonized on campus and in the media, and suspended from school. The race to inject "race" led many to immediately pronounce guilt without facts, including the district attorney, who was disbarred and jailed for deliberately withholding evidence.
• Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh pronounced "guilty" of alleged actions three decades ago, despite no evidence - a witch-hunt that continues to this day.
• A high school student accused of being a racist at a rally in Washington and disparaged the world over - only to be fully exonerated after it was revealed that the lazy media failed to do its homework and missed the real story.
• Al Franken, former "Saturday Night Live" comedian, resigned under immense pressure from the U.S. Senate amidst the take-no-prisoners #MeToo movement. Recently, seven Democratic senators finally admitted regret in shooting from the hip and ignoring due process.
When is enough ... enough? And what's next? Weaponizing civil lawsuits so that we can keep players out of big games in the NFL? Don't shrug it off, because that appears to be exactly what's happening. And the NFL, if it's not careful, may set the precedent for just that.
It's time for people to leave the cheap seats and get off the sidelines. This issue isn't about the NFL, and it's not about sports. It is about the presumption of innocence until proven guilty, and about protecting the reputations, livelihoods, families, and legacies of everyone accused of wrongdoing - criminally and civilly - before the facts are known.
We are better than that, and must rise above personal feelings and hearsay, resisting the urge to condemn without merit. Otherwise, America's "rights" will soon have nothing unique about them.
Be it Antonio Brown or the average Joe, doing so should always be out of bounds.
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