Boston Globe reporter Dan Shaughnessy is mad at Patriots quarterback Tom Brady:
Kudos to Eli Manning for standing up and saying something about the scandal-ridden NFL: “We can’t accept that as players, we can’t accept that from our teammates and around the league. Hopefully . . . the NFL can learn from this, and we can go on and start getting back to football . . . We don’t like when the NFL gets a black eye on anything.’’ That’s a lot better than the Jordanesque/Tigeresque “there’s nothing I can do to make a difference” we got from Tom Brady when he was asked about it.
Brady had preferred to keep mum about the recent spate of domestic abuse issues rather than pontificate; after all, he is just a football player. This makes Shaughnessy upset.
But was there anything heroic about Eli Manning’s statement? Manning is saying, in effect, that he is against men beating their wives and children, and that the NFL should “do something.” There is nothing controversial or brave about the statement. It is nearly content-free.
Do we assume Brady is somehow in favor of wife-beating because he prefers not to comment? Of course not. Brady’s real fault seems to be not showing enough enthusiasm in the verbal abuse heaped on athletes like Adrian Peterson, who are currently being held out for our ritual hate sessions.
I’ve commented before about the tendency to judge people’s character not by their actions but by the social poses they strike. The pressure today is not just to conform to approved opinion but to show proper levels of enthusiasm for those opinions as well.
Which is stupid.