De’Andre Johnson Ethics Quiz: Is It Ever Ethical For A Male Athlete To Punch A Woman?


Nineteen year-old De’Andre Johnson was kicked off the Florida State team after “The Tallahassee Democrat” obtained a video showing Johnson punching a young woman in the face in an altercation at a bar in June. He has also been charged with battery. Johnson’s lawyer says that woman was taunting him with racial epithets and hit him twice before he punched her.

Lawyer Jose Baez told NBC News that Johnson “tried to deescalate the situation” but the woman “kneed him in the groin area” and “took another swing before he retaliated.”  “It wasn’t until she struck him twice that he reacted,” Baez said. “But he is very regretful that he didn’t turn around and walk away immediately.” Baez added, however that his client “makes no excuses for what happened.”

The video above does not seem to support Johnson’s defense, but never mind.  After the Ray Rice episode, no football player who lays a hand on a woman in anger will be able to avoid severe punishment. All athletes, and football players particularly, are on notice that as far as hitting women goes, it is strict liability unless the men’s lives are in danger, and maybe not even then.

But hypothetically, I’m curious. Racial epithets are fighting words. If a black athlete punched a white man, even a much smaller white man, after racial abuse and a knee to the groin, there would probably be no charges filed, and not much criticism either. How different, if different at all, should the ethical judgement be if the individual engaging in the abuse is a woman? What if she shows no signs of stopping unless she is physically stopped? What if she looks like this…

Gina Davis


Or. say, THIS…


Or even this…


Hope is over six feet tall, you’ll recall and is rumored to have a penchant for striking people off the athletic field.

Thus your Ethics Alarms Ethics Quiz of the Day is this:

Is it always unethical for  any male athlete to punch any woman in a situation not involving the male’s mortal peril?

ADDENDUM…lest we forget: what if the woman is this former Olympic medal winner…




115 thoughts on “De’Andre Johnson Ethics Quiz: Is It Ever Ethical For A Male Athlete To Punch A Woman?

  1. I’d offer that it’s usually unethical for anyone to hit anyone else, but using hypothetical situations? Sure. There are instances where it’s not only ethical, but perhaps unethical not to…. Self defense or defense of another, respectively, off the top of my head. We’re past the point where we can legitimately argue separate roles solely on the basis of gender, and we have to come to terms with the idea that the benefits of equality will come with the price tag of the responsibilities of equality.

  2. 1) if we assume that the default position that anyone being physically assaulted is not obligated to assume the assailant is limiting their assault but rather *must* presume the assailant intends to wholly finish the task.

    2) if we assume that an ethical victim seeks then to apply enough return force (read as slightly greater or more) to stop the assailant

    Then I would submit that the question be abstracted from:

    “Is it always unethical for any male athlete to punch any woman in a situation not involving the male’s mortal peril?”


    “Is it always unethical for any victim to respond with force against any assailant in a situation not involving the victim’s mortal peril (even though#1 no victim should presume such but very strong victims should #2 temper their responses)

    I’d say no. Though #1 and #2 cross paths and create a matrix to evaluate a variety of situations, the default answer before extenuating circumstances is that the victim, however stronger they are than the assailant, didn’t start the altercation and has every right to stop the assailant.

    Isn’t the result just moral luck? (Completely avoidable if an attacker chose not to attack in the first place)

    That’s for the hypothetical.

    The real situation? I Donno. Racial epithets are no reason to start throwing punches- they are every reason to leave the situation OR, if you need to fight, angle the confrontation the racial slur user into being the one who ups the physical ante and then you can fight *in defense*. (Lost art of the confrontation)

    But if the woman was physically assaulting him? Hell yes he can fight back, preferably with just enough force to completely stop her but if she ends up severely injured? Moral luck. She shouldn’t have been hitting him.

  3. Does the male have to be an athlete?

    Do males that are not athletes get a pass, or receive lesser punishment?

    Who’s determining “mortal peril?”

    As a bouncer in a prominent Madison, WI disco in the mid to late 1970’s, I was the target of punches by far more females than men.

    I never swung back, nor have I ever struck a female, except sisters, which I’ve been told is O.K., by my sisters, who FTR hit back.

    As a staunch believer in gender-equality, I would say it’s not always unethical for a male (athlete or adipose-advantaged) to punch any woman in a
    situation not involving mortal peril.

    I’d like to hear from the gender-feminists on this, because it doesn’t appear to be equal treatment.

    In NCAA basketball, the men’s ball is 1 inch more in circumference and the 3 point-line is a foot farther out.

    Where are the gender-feminists on that one.

  4. My grandmother, bless her soul, would say that a gentleman would never hit a lady. Unfortunately, she did not offer definitions for either. She did not consider my father a gentleman (Tech Sergeant, USMC, WWII) but did consider my officer Uncle a gentleman. He went to OCS, and I have no idea what her opinion of him was before he went. However, it has always appeared to me that officers were by definition, gentlemen, enlisted were not. Athletes were not people she thought about much.

  5. Growing up I was taught that boys don’t hit girls, ever, but that didn’t last, considering a lot of the girls I grew up with were blue-collar skanks who’d just as soon smack you or spit at you as look at you. A general rule is to keep your hands to yourself , but if someone decides to lay hands on you, fight to kill.

  6. “The video above does not seem to support Johnson’s defense”

    100% wrong. I played the video in slow motion ( and it shows exactly what Johnson’s defense describes.

    0:07 the woman leans very closely into Johnson’s face and says something to him
    0:10 – 0:13 the woman begins sliding and shouldering left to (childishly) block the adjacent bar space from being occupied by Johnson (who very likely spoke to and asked the by standing woman at 0:04 to vacate for him)
    0:14 the woman whips around to confront Johnson
    0:15 literally a second later the woman’s hand leaves her drink, is balled into a fist and raised threateningly as if to strike Johnson, her other is placed across Johnson’s chest while she continues to blockade the adjacent space
    0:16 the two exchange words while the woman continues to threaten Johnson with her fist and while leaning her weight into her other arm and moving Johnson backward
    0:17 Johnson traps the threatening fist
    0:17 – 0:19 the woman struggles while Johnson holds her away from his body and talks to her
    0:20 the woman appears to knee or kick Johnson in the groin area while pulling her unsecured arm away from Johnson’s chest
    0:21 the woman winds up and punches Johnson with her free arm
    0:22 Johnson (appearing stunned by either the blow or the escalation) attempts to trap the arm that just punched him, the woman breaks the arm free and half cocks the striking arm between herself and Johnson
    0:23 Johnson’s delivers a long overdue (by any accounting of big boy rules) right hook and promptly exits

    The parenthetical remarks are my opinion and/or interpretation.

    As for the ethics: Trapping a threatening fist is an ethically proportional response to someone threatening you with one. Johnson is under no ethical obligation to refuse the confrontation. He has as much right to the bar space as anyone and the woman undoubtedly (and unethically) initiated and escalated the confrontation. The woman attempts to free the trapped threatening fist and Johnson is 100% within the bounds of reason ethics to not permit her to. If she had broken free she may have ended the confrontation, or more likely judging from her prior actions, continued to threaten Johnson or escalated further. The woman isn’t behaving rationally and I wouldn’t have trusted her with a free hand either. From there, there’s nothing that even remotely reflects unethically on Johnson. Punching someone after they’ve attempted to punch you is indisputably ethical. Doing it after they’ve already attempted to knee/kick you and have shown nothing but aggression and hostility prior to the assault is even more so.

    The athletic and gender angle don’t factor into conflict ethics for the exact same reason that they don’t factor into other ethical realms like employment or proper application of the law – they’re irrelevant.

    The answer to the question “Is it ever ethical for a male athlete to punch a woman?” is the same answer to “Is it ever ethical to punch someone who initiates confrontation, escalation, and violence towards you?”

    The answer: Yes!!!

  7. In the video, there is no true peril, no cornering, no nothing to justify striking back. Men never hitting is to important a rule to carve holes or general exceptions beyond mortal peril.

    Ethical men never hit women. Not even once.

    Any of the women photographed in your examples might qualify as an ad hoc exception, as not even the rule above could be expected to be perfectly appropriate at under all circumstances. Fighting back though, if any were the aggressor, would seem to be a very poorly thought out strategy, even if it were ethical to do so. Running away, would seem the only practical solution if one wished to remain in one piece…

    Men punching men will always be a potential ethical solution, although usually one party must have independently committed a sufficient unethical and malicious act to warrant such reprisal.

    • I disagree entirely. I refuse to accept the label feminist but I do believe that our rules should be sex neutral. I dispute that the rule you describe has any actual benefit except to provide a form of privilege for women.

      The rule “Never initiate violence in the absence of a true threat” is better.

      • I do not believe that gender equality means removing every trace of “privilege”. A women has a reasonable and just expectation to never be hit by a man, not even once.

        Men have too much of a history abusing women to try to undo or generalize this privilege. This privilege is a line in sand. It is a dragon meant to scare honest men from even approaching abusive behavior towards a women.

        Too many naive women let themselves believe a man who hits them once made a “mistake”. This rule is meant to provide idiot proof guidance as to what makes a non-violent relationship. Women should never hit men too, nor verbally abuse or likewise. This simple fact though is that a women who lets a man be physically violent against her has a greater chance of ending up dead.

        The rule, in isolation, is not particularly useful. Abuse exists in many insidious forms, and even non-violent abuse, such as verbal taunting can have deadly effects, as several tragic bullying-related suicides have shown.

        The rule, never hit a women, is the barest minimum. While extreme situations may indeed warrant breaking the rule, to say it is ever “ok” to hit a women misses the point.

      • The rule is meant to decry abusive behavior. It also only strictly applies to a closed fist punch. If pushing her away, restraining, or other measures did not work, an exception might be made. But the guy should feel horrible, and never do it again, including taking positive steps to remove himself from an abusive relationship if necessary.

        If the situation is so bad that punching a women becomes the only option, mistakes were usually made…

    • “Men punching men will always be a potential ethical solution, although usually one party must have independently committed a sufficient unethical and malicious act to warrant such reprisal.”

      Quibbling for clarification:


      If revenge is unethical, then hitting someone just because they hit you would be unethical wouldn’t it. Supposing your assailant only strikes you once and ceases all aggressive posture and conduct after that…are you justified hitting him then? Or is your only ethical recourse seeing restitution via courts or private agreement?

      Acknowledging that most confrontations have gray areas in which victims can be forgiven for reasonably assuming an assailant has not backed down, let’s say it is cut and dry that the assailant has. Is “reprisal” ethical?

      I would submit, the victim is *only* ethical utilizing enough force ONLY as necessary to *stop* an aggressor, that once the self has been successfully defended, continuing the fight makes the victim an aggressor in a new confrontation – of course we fairly err on the side of forgiving a victim if they use a little excessive force or if they continue defensive actions for a time after the aggressor ceases, because the victim may never know…

      • And to bring your last point in line with this situation, the moment he punched her, he removed himself from the situation.

      • I use that language to cover responses to all possible provocations, including the extreme. (Of course, in extreme situations, the gender of the provocateur is not necessarily relevant.)

  8. It’s getting more difficult to make a case for a man never hitting a woman. Just like all the other social boundaries this one is very blurred. Aggressive women who rely on the men don’t hit women rule might need to reconsider their actions.
    It’s been my experience in 25 years of teaching that girls are often much more physical and aggressive than boys are, and are really mean and vicious in ways that boys seldom are. Boys try to avoid these girls, but if girls want to create a scene there is very little a boy can do about it. Boys always lose and girls get very smug about it.

  9. I do think Johnson got a bad rap in this case. Ta-Nehisi Coates will surely be playing this video over and over to his son, and saying, “SeewhutImean? The black man is ALWAYS the villain, the white woman always privileged.”

    Depending on circumstances and their exceptionalism, of course it is ethical for a male athlete to punch a woman.

  10. Let’s take a rather extreme set of examples — cases not considered in the above, and qualitatively different from the sorts of fighting talked about — to illustrate a simple negation. Those examples? Martial artists, boxers, and the like, when sparring and training. Similarly, you can consider self-defense classes.

    These situations can be roughly grouped into three categories of situations: Cases where the female is the instructor and the male the student, cases where the male is the instructor and the female is the student, and cases where a male and female are fellow students or training partners.

    While the question at hand, which comments on the male being an athlete, suggests that the second case is the most relevant, I’ll start with the first. If a woman is teaching a man to fight, he has to demonstrate techniques at a minimum. He’ll also typically have to practice on a live target. Typically speaking, this is the instructor — who will be using padding or other safety equipment (if necessary; this varies by technique and the type of demonstration, but since we’re talking about punches specifically, we can presume so) — for the sake of convenience if nothing else. Additionally, the instructor will have to demonstrate techniques, and many of these are counters to punches (which means that the student, or a student, anyway, will have to attempt to punch her as part of the demonstration). In these cases, the woman is literally asking for it, and cannot do her job unless he strikes.

    Obviously, martial arts students shouldn’t be genuinely assaulting their instructors… but that’s another matter. Punching them is a part of training.

    Similarly, when the instructor is male, there are a variety of reasons to punch a student. Not only do students need to practice counters and blocks themselves, but a variety of training methods involve actually striking students. This ranges from demonstrating openings in a student’s defenses to one of the more common (in Asian dojo, anyway) methods of correcting a student’s stance.

    Does the student being female change anything? If I were to teach a woman self-defense (leaving aside the fact that I’m not qualified to teach the martial arts), should I take it easy on them — deliberately do my job incompetently and leave them open to future attacks from people who actually, genuinely want to hurt them or worse — when doing so? I’d argue that not only is the teacher morally allowed to strike the student under such circumstances, but that he has a duty to do so.

    Finally, when a man and woman are training partners or fellow students… sparring and practicing techniques are still issues, and training does involve, well, fighting. Obviously, serious harm isn’t a part of the goals… but so what? Imagine the case of a husband and wife who are both martial artists and who regularly beat the crap out of each other in the dojo (metaphorical or otherwise) — while having a pretty happy marriage, of which the training sessions/fights are part. Is there something wrong with this?

    It’s worth noting, in the case of fellow martial artists sparring, that a refusal to strike (or even just taking it easy on your opponent) would be considered an insult at best by a serious martial artist.

    Now, obviously none of these are vicious assaults or beatdowns. None of them qualify as “domestic violence” by most definitions of the term.

    But, that said, the question, as posed, is couched in terms of absolutes (“Is it ever ethical…”) and discusses an act with a variety of topographies and purposes (“punch a woman”). A single example of an ethical case is enough to render a definitive answer… and, in this, I think I’ve done that.

    Is it ever ethical for a male athlete to punch a woman? Well, as illustrated above… yes.

    If I wanted to go with the intent of the question, of course, I could posit a number of other examples. What if, for instance, a husband comes across his wife trying to murder their child — is it ethical for him to strike her in an attempt to stop the act? Again, I’d say yes (although I’d question whether a punch is the most appropriate/effective method from a tactical perspective under most such situations — unless it was a disarming strike)… even though this involves an act that would be considered spousal abuse under less extreme circumstances.

    I don’t think that whether or not the man is an athlete matters there, either.

    But… overall, I think that, more than anything else, this helps illustrate something much simpler: It’s really, really hard to find a valid absolute when it comes to ethics.

  11. She punched him in the face. He tried to stop her without violence by grabbing her hand and it didn’t work. She wound up her fist to hit him in the face again and he beat her to the punch, hitting her — not hard — while backing away. I call that a restrained and proportionate response. Should he have stood there and let her land another fist in his face? She should have been arrested for assault, since she struck the first blow and attempted to strike the second.

    I would also note that, unlike a bouncer, whose presence naturally clears other customers out of the way and gives him a space for maneuver, Johnson was trapped between bar stools by the crowd. He couldn’t have retreated away from her without pushing several other people aside.

    She’s lucky he didn’t hit her hard. A serious punch, thrown with bad intent, by a man of his size and strength would have knocked her to the floor, with a huge welt on her face, likely a black eye and possibly broken bones. She wouldn’t have been whining to the bartender; she would have been crying and being helped to her feet. I’ve seen it happen more than once.

    What kind of idiot punches a large, muscular man in the face? Would any man have done anything as stupid (or obnoxious) as what she did?

    • “What kind of idiot punches a large, muscular man in the face?”

      Abstracted: What kind of idiot does violent and destructive acts that society typically condemns and punishes?

      There’s alot of that going down, and it isn’t necessarily idiots…often it is people who have been given a sense a immunity for their actions.

    • “He tried to stop her without violence by grabbing her hand and it didn’t work.”

      Quibble time:

      His actions count as violence. To which I say so? We’re so worried about “not being violent” we forget that violence, appropriately applied, can work wonders in stopping bad people. In this case, his actions seem justifiable.

      • Quite right about my choice of language. When I was writing the comment, I was stalled for several minutes trying to think of a better word or short phrase but couldn’t. “Without aggression”? “Without injuring her”? “Without too much violence”? I finally gave up and moved on, figuring people would probably know what I meant.

      • “His actions count as violence. To which I say so? We’re so worried about “not being violent” we forget that violence, appropriately applied, can work wonders in stopping bad people. In this case, his actions seem justifiable.”


        Why don’t we just follow the self-defense laws of the state in question? They usually account for differences in size, number, and the presence of weapons. No one should be required to submit to an unjustified beating, even if the beating is not likely to be life threatening. I wonder why this is even a topic for discussion.

        I have often wondered if fewer women are convicted of crimes, not because they don’t commit them, but because society views women as less likely to commit crimes and crimes by women as less serious. I notice that the press goes crazy when a small child is accidentally killed by a firearm, but I counted 4 small children intentionally killed by their mothers in the last 2 days and they got very little press.

        • “I wonder why this is even a topic for discussion.”

          Because a certain world view wants to make us all pussies that don’t realize that “running away from ALL confrontations is the only option” only empowers bad people.

          And eventually it will take an entire swath of marginally bad people being laid severely low by good people *without those good people being vilified – in fact with those good people being commended* before marginally bad people start respecting traditional boundaries again.

          (I exclude really bad people because I don’t think there’s alot of deterrence for the truly bad apples out there).

    • As an aside, I read a comment once that I think is very true: Most women have no idea at all how much stronger the average man is than the average woman. Those who have wrestled around playfully with a father, brother, boyfriend or husband don’t understand that, in most cases, the man is consciously restraining himself to make sure he doesn’t hurt her. If the woman in the video had understood this, she would have restrained herself from punching Johnson in the face.

      • Of course, wouldn’t a better takeaway be “In most cases an individual should respect other people and shouldn’t hit them for no reason, if the woman in the video had understood this, she would have restrained herself from punching Johnson in the face.”?

        • Even angry, disrespectful people are usually able to restrain themselves from starting fights that are likely to result in their getting a black eye or a broken jaw.

          • Yes, I had a very nasty subordinate once get puffed up mad at me (I caught him violating a lot of safety procedures and a few fire codes). He was red-faced mad, balled his fists up, and tried to move toward me intimidatingly. I stayed calm, stood my ground and said, “go ahead, that will make my day”. He saw that I wasn’t kidding and walked away.

            I still almost wish he would have taken a swing at me. It would have made the next 6 months so much easier.

      • I wonder if this is an old genetic trait from our distant past when we had to run them down and overpower them in order to mate? You know: the 80’s?

  12. Men shouldn’t fight women physically. (I try to never even retaliate verbally. It’s just part of the deal since you can never win an argument with a woman anyway) De-escalate. Walk away. Certainly no punching. Why even get near a woman who knees guys in the groin? Particularly if you might be drafted into the NFL at some time? Plus, no matter what, it looks really bad on video, which is evidently ubiquitous these days.

    But frankly, I suspect fist fighting between the sexes, and in general, is a whole different thing in black culture.

    • Don’t these guys wear cups? Which brings up another scenario: what if she’s laughing and pointing at your “manhood”?

    • I gotta say…. That’s extremely sexist. I mean, you’re saying men should never fight women, but absent is that ‘women should never fight men’, and I assume, the reason that is absent is that you believe that all men are stronger than all women, which is patronizing. You’ve even gone one step further… You won’t argue with a woman? What? You damage them with logic? Get a grip.

  13. Well, I think it is entirely unethical to punch a lady, especially if you are wearing rings or brass knuckles. Even the androgynous specimens at the end get a pass, unless they are very butch. Of course, Bogart-smacking is acceptable if she is hysterical with the vapours, failed to have dinner on the table in a timely manner, or didn’t bring you your money and you don’t want the others thinking you’re a pushover. The “rule of thumb” also applies, so there is rarely any need to abandon gentlemanly etiquette and get all Irish on her. The real question is whether or not it’s ethical to fight baboons; it’s on my bucket list, and they seem like they can defend themselves pretty well.

    • “Well, I think it is entirely unethical to punch a lady,

      Isn’t this tautology territory?

      Ladies don’t hit.
      It’s unethical to hit someone for no reason.
      It is unethical to hit ladies.

      Which is to say “it is unethical to hit someone for no reason who isn’t hitting anyone for no reason”


      If you have to hit a woman who was hitting you as an instigator, by definition she isn’t a lady, no?

  14. For me, the reading on this is simple. He should not have punched back. He should have left the situation and called the police on her for assault. He could have easily defended himself without punching her in the face.

    • Surely you allow for a window between the assailant initiating an attack and the victim being securely away, that the victim be allowed to take forceful action to secure their retreat?

      Or should victims just continue beneath a rain of blows doing nothing but try to retreat?

      I know this isn’t a huge window given this scenario, but it’s something you should address for developing a general rule. I don’t see why he shouldn’t be allowed to hit in self defense if it helps secure a retreat from the situation.

      • If your life is in danger, then hit away! If you can safely retreat or stop the assault, I believe you have a duty to do so. And this video shows why. Although this woman committed a crime (and probably is a vile human being generally), she did little damage to him. The football player, however, almost knocked her out. He easily could have just walked away.

        • Why is it incumbent on a victim, who otherwise was minding their own business and is caught completely off guard, to make accommodations for an assailant?

          Do you not see how upside down that is?

          I agree that victims should, insomuch as they can think clearly, seek to minimize force the bare essential to stop a particular attack. But seriously, you are demanding a standard that further victimizes victims.

          • He was a victim in the “legal” sense — he had been attacked. But he wasn’t hurt — he was just pissed. That is an important difference. If one of my children hits me, it is going to anger me and there will be consequences, but it is unlikely that I will be hurt (absent a weapon of some kind). But I don’t get to punch them back in the face … because I could kill them. The average football player can fend off an offensive woman at a bar without slugging her in the face. He gets 100% more abuse on the field and he has been trained to do serious damage. He also knows when he is danger … he wasn’t here obviously. The response has to be proportionate. What if he legally caring a sidearm? Would he be able to shoot her in the face? I mean, she did slap him.

            This reminds me of a game that my brother and I used to play. He is a big guy, athletic — looks like a stereotypical bouncer. He used to encourage me to try and hit him. Nine times out of ten he would be able to grab my hands in time and use my own hands to hit myself. (He never hurt me when doing this.) And btw, I am pretty strong for my gender. If I were incredibly lucky and I did hit my brother, I never even managed to leave a bruise.

            • Oddly enough, people legally carrying a firearm are much more likely to walk away from a fight, statistically-speaking.

            • You know…. I’m not sure how the law works in America, but in Canada…. If you bite off more than you can chew, you’re still liable to swallow. To elaborate, it doesn’t matter if you didn’t mean to commit a crime, only that you meant to commit A crime.

              For instance, if you punched a person, and killed them, even though you didn’t mean to kill them, you meant to punch them and because the death was the product of an illegal act, you are liable for murder. (probably manslaughter). But that’s a mild example. If you had AIDS, and didn’t know you had AIDS, and you spit in someone’s eye and gave them AIDS, you would be liable for medical damages even if you didn’t know you had AIDS, because you meant to spit in their eye, and that’s either assault or battery, depending.

              My point is that the system is set up to punish results. We don’t get to say “Well if X did Y, Z COULD have happened, so we have to treat this more seriously.” There’s a moral luck component that makes this more complicated from an ethics standpoint, but legally, the possibility of harm hits me as irrelevant, we’ll legally punish harm if it happens.

              • I think the law works in Bethtopia where anyone engaging in violence is wrong, like everyone can Ghandi* up a situation and we all go home comrades.

                *which is a crap analogy, by the way, Ghandi could play the pacifist all he wanted while people loyal to the same objective as him engaged in violence on behalf of that same objective.

            • Also:

              “He was a victim in the “legal” sense — he had been attacked. But he wasn’t hurt — he was just pissed.”

              I just want to point out: She called him a nigger, kneed him in the groin, and punched him in the face, and you don’t think he’s a victim?

            • You have to be physically hurt to be a victim in ethical terms?

              The man was minding his own business when out of the blue another person caught him off guard and began assaulting him.

              IT IS NOT HIS OBLIGATION TO CONDUCT A FULL EVALUATION OF THE THREAT before engaging in the initial stages of self-defense – yes he should make a rudimentary evaluation. Which you may have missed it, but he even SHOWED RESTRAINT by trapping her fist initially, yet, she CONTINUED TO ASSAULT HIM.

              He popped her a good one to convince her to desist. It bought him time to get away.

              Are you blind?

              You have to be.

              That or you possess a completely upside down world-view.

    • And this gets to the underlying issue of the quiz: is this approach still a vestige of the old rules of chivalry, and the Code of the West? Or is this a gender-neutral response? “Stand your ground” only applies when men are assaulting you, or only when you can shoot them?

      • how much of it is chivalry though?

        I’d like to see the earliest admonition that was made “you should NEVER EVER hit a woman”

        I’d put money that it isn’t much earlier than the 1910s

    • Let me parse this for you. Trying to get to the bar, he bumped into her. In retaliation for that, she called him a nigger, kneed him in the groin, punched him in the face, and was (most probably) going to continue. In the face of violence, it’s his duty to run away.

      How… Entitled.

      The fact of the matter is that even after all this is said and done, with all the news coverage and video footage. The woman in this case is not facing charges. She never would be. The justice system doesn’t have the mechanism to deal with situations like this even if they were compassionate enough towards violence against men to try. In fact, as of this moment, we don’t even know her name. Her name was redacted. So let’s parse that.

      A woman calls a black person a nigger, knees him in the groin, punches him in the face. No charges are laid and her identity is protected.

      Let’s be very clear: the logical conclusion of what you’re saying amounts to that women are empowered to commit acts of physical violence against men without fear of repercussion. Because the law won’t take care of it, society won’t take care of it, and if he takes care of it, he should lose his job and face criminal charges. You disgust me.

      • You disgust me. Where — in anything that I wrote — do you see me defending this woman?

        Charges should be brought against her — I don’t know if he has to file charges or if the State can do it on its own in this case (every state is different.)

        If the justice system won’t address this, then FIX the justice system you idiot. And yes, he should lose his job for punching a woman in the face — or a child — or a dog — or a weaker being of any sort. He’s a professional athlete. That comes with rules — one of them being that you don’t get punch out 99% of the population even if they are hurling insults at you. He had a professional image to protect, not just for him, but for his team and his school. He blew it.

        • Ok Beth, you hold out both your hands, and in one hand, you fill it with all your happy thoughts and all the “shoulds” you can muster, and the other hand, you put under a horses’ tail. Figure out what fills up first. I’m sure that you didn’t mean what I said, but I’m also sure that the words you said mean what I put out there.

          The problem is in your typically liberal, progressively bent mind, you think that crimes change depending on the victim. If you said “He should lose his job for getting in a fight” I’d be right there beside you. But you didn’t. You gendered it, and then laid out other special attention groups that you feel deserve more protection than other people because of inherent weakness. What that does in practise is creates a second class of citizen who is subject to physical abuse by smaller people because they are physically larger… And that’s fucked up. Own it.

            • Ok. So she committed assault. I don’t think I ever insinuated that you were defending her, or that either of them hadn’t committed a crime… But if it gets the conversation one step forward: great.

              Now…. You seem to think that it’s appropriate for him to have his name in public and to lose his job. Do you think she should have her name dragged through the papers and lose her job? Because even if we don’t agree on the punishment itself… if you can at least actually treat the punishment for the crime as equal, I won’t have nearly as big a problem with your point of view.

              • I could care less if her name gets dragged through the mud. Whether or not she loses her job is up to her employer.

                • See… You should care. I get that you don’t, I think that it’s the basis of your bias and why I think you’re awful. You care enough to judge him, but her? That’s an issue, but one you don’t care to talk about. OK. So long as we’re all aware.

                  • You keep trying to trap me — but there’s no trap. I *also* could care less if his name gets dragged through the mud. If this wasn’t on tape, the school still should have kicked him off the team. My analysis was based on — (1) Whether it is okay for an accomplished athlete to deck a woman (It’s not.); and (2) Whether it is okay for a school to kick him off a team if he’s caught doing it. (It is).

                    If this girl is on a school team, she should be kicked off too — she’s a obviously a horrible person and shouldn’t be representing the school. If she’s just employed at the local hardware store, then it is up to her employer to decide.

                    • You are still pretending like he wasn’t attacked, multiple times, because that makes a difference. You pretend like each of them hitting each other are isolated wrongs somehow.

                      This is dishonest, I think.

                    • Let me parse this over again now: It’s not that he was male, or larger anymore, now he doesn’t have the right to defend himself because he is a role model?

                      I’m not trying to ‘trap’ you Beth, I’m pointing out your inconsistencies. I often feel this mixture of horrification and amusement when reading your contributions because they require a set of grotesque mental gymnastics to reconcile. The fact of the matter is that I have very serious doubts that had the genders of the two parties been reversed that you would be making the same points that you are. I think you’re inconsistent, sexist, and horrible.

                    • He doesn’t get to hit her back because he is a trained athlete and she is just some girl at a bar. The damage he did to her was more serious, and potentially far more serious, than what she did to him.

                      Instead of punching her, what if he broke a beer bottle and sliced open her neck? Is that okay because she hit him first? Of course it’s not. As Joed discussed as well, it is always best to walk away from a fight if you can. If you can’t, THEN you have a right to hit back.

                    • Humble, I share your doubts about Beth’s consistency would any of the roles be reversed in this situation. But let’s take her claim that she would be consistent. She does have a rule, then that is derivable from her comments, one she has stated somewhat imprecisely, and that rule is:

                      Recipients of attacks (which Beth won’t call a victim, but I will) should get away from a fight 1st.
                      If the victim cannot get away from the fight 1st, then the recipient gets to fight back 2nd.
                      If the victim must fight back, the victim must use measured force as a response to create the conditions to default to the 1st priority (which is getting away from the fight).

                      This in general, is not a bad formula, but it does prioritize running from bad people and empowering them, and without further nuance, it compels the victim to accomodate the attacker. This is why Beth is upside down on this.

                      The formula must contain erring on the side of the victim. Which Beth doesn’t do.

                      The 3rd line, where the victim ought use measured force as a reponse, I think we can all agree on. But Beth seems to think that victims all ought to know within a moment of the start of the attack the capabilities & limitations of the attacker compared with a self-evaluation of the victim’s own capabilities and limitations. That’s a hefty amoung of calculus to expect from someone caught off guard by a attack. Beth isn’t being very understanding of the victim.

                      This is why we forgive the victim if the victim responds with a small amount of excessive force or responds a little bitter longer than the attack continues…because the victim was the one caught by surprise when the victim was the one minding his/her own business.

                      Beth seems to think a victim, in the astonishment of the moment, ought to be able to decide fully that they aren’t in severe danger.

                      It could be argued that De’andre had the moment to recognize such, especially given that he trapped her fist initially. Good for him.

                      Beth seems to be blind to the fact that the girl *CONTINUED* the assault. So De’andre demonstrated excellent judgment initially, that does not condemn him in the face of further assault and we have to apply the “victim forgiveness” factor, which I don’t even think we need to do in this case. She *CONTINUED* the assault, so De’andre popped her face, with, quite frankly, a fairly tame punch, which bought him the time to get away from the situation.

                      Beth seems to think De’andre should have had 100% situational awareness (unfair, I think, to expect of someone who was out to enjoy himself in a community he can reasonably expect to respect his person) and realized he could have just backed off. I think this reveals a certain lack of experience on Beth’s part. Anyone who has been caught off gaurd by an assailant knows how rapidly tunnel vision sets in. De’andre’s last memory before being attacked would have been that of a crowd of people pressed behind him. That’s a huge psychological barrier that effects “Fight or Flight” evaluations creating the perception of “no escape”.

                      To further expand the formula above:

                      1) Victims should buy themselves time to evaluate the situation 1st.
                      1a) The severity of the initial attack should be a guide on this initial action.
                      2) Victims should seek to STOP the attack 2nd. Which is really just an expansion of step 1.
                      There is no reason to encumber a victim with the notion that the attacker only means this a minimum amount of harm. NONE. This is one place where Beth would realize she’s completely upside down if she’d jus think about this.
                      3) If conditions are favorable for a retreat when STOPPING the attack won’t be successful, then that is 3rd.

                      To boil it down, I think Beth says:

                      ALWAYS retreat unless you can’t, then stop the attack– or “If you are attacked, then retreat; if you cannot retreat, then stop the attack.”

                      I say:

                      “If you are attacked, seek to stop (or at least disrupt) the attack 1st, to buy time; if you cannot stop the attack, then seek a retreat.”

                      Beth’s formula compels a victim to do a hefty amount of mental mathematics all while trying to regain senses from a surprise attack out of fear they may be punished later.

                      My formula empowers a victim to make a wide range of reasonable choices without fear of reprisal after the fact.

                      That’s really the root of why Beth is backwards on this.

                    • Very good points. It’s easy to say, from a distance and a safe angle, what we would do differently under similar circumstances, when the reality is that most of us would do multiple forms of the wrong thing, including underreact, or apply insufficient force. That’s another calculation that has to be made, as at any moment in a fight, adrenaline and anger in your enemy could result in a split-second decision to kill you. A mortally-wounded person can kill you, for that matter. I will make every effort to deescalate IF I CAN, I will make every effort to only apply enough force to stop the fight IF THAT’S POSSIBLE, but these are very big “ifs”. The only reason that my cellmates in the two situations I discussed are alive is that, as providence would have it, I was able to render them harmless without killing them. That’s easier said than done without special equipment. They were bigger guys, and if they had gotten the better of me, they certainly WOULD have killed me. So sad; they were fights over NOTHING, which I tried to defuse. Another time, I was at a Mobil, fueling up. My car at the time, which a good friend of mine had given to me, was overheating, so I quickly grabbed a jug from my trunk and began frantically looking for water (warm water is best for a hot block). The store clerk, a Pakistani with a known bad attitude (I found this out afterwards) was busy with a customer, and I saw a deep sink that was next to the public bathrooms just inside the hall, and I started filling up the jug. The clerk went ballistic, cursing out Americans who think they own everything and what-not. I say “I’m sorry, sir. I just put $35 in my tank, and my car was overheating… (etc): I didn’t even realize I was in a private area”. Not good enough. He gets angrier and more abusive. I’m like “It’s just water, sir, but it won’t happen again”, maybe with just a bit of attitude this time. He starts poking his finger in my chest. “Okay, asshole, keep your water”, and I drop the jug, turning to leave, thinking about how I have to push the car off his property and get to Advance Auto for some 50:50. Next thing I know, I’m being clocked over the head, HARD, with a clipboard. I was stunned, and pissed. I whirl around and punch him in the head, sending him careening across the back counter area to the floor, where he picks up a club from under the register and starts after me. I ran as fast as I could out to my car, and took off. I had a pistol in the car, but brandishing it or discharging it would have been dead wrong, as I was relatively safe by that point. What WAS wrong was not immediately meeting and neutralizing the threat as soon as a weapon came out. I had my back to him as he chased me, and if I had slipped or he caught me, it would have been a ground game, and I might have been in mortal peril. It was merely good luck that I was able to outrun him.

                    • To further clarify:

                      Beth is suffering from benign in the audience on this one. She knows the plot and she knows the characters. She knows the girl who started the fight is just some run of the mill shmuck. She knows the victim is a toned athlete.

                      Her mistakes:

                      She doesn’t realize that before the story is complete, she wants the victim to know precisely who the attacker is also. But that isn’t reality. The attacker *COULD BE* another athlete just like him. Maybe even a kick boxer or Olympic wrestler.

                      Beth also wants this basketball player to have athletic talents *outside* his area of expertise. Though fitness is an advantage it isn’t a guaranteed advantage if someone doesn’t know how to fight.

                    • Very good point. Size and fitness do not a fighter make. The unskilled see a fighting machine when they see a big guy, I see dozens of extremely vulnerable anatomical features to exploit that few people know how to protect. My wife is coming up on her second year of Krav Maga, and would have destroyed this guy. Then again, she is also a responsible person, and wouldn’t do so out of anger.

                    • Still, It does seem like anger was behind his response. I could be wrong, and of course it is understandable. I can’t imagine it would be feasible or just for him to be charged with a crime, but again he would have the burden of proof if that was my wife. I’m peaceful, and I will endure any amount of humiliation to de-fuse a situation, but my wife and kids are my Achilles heel. You’re gambling with your life if you trifle with them.

                    • I think I agree with Tex, but I want to take it one step further: Beth’s position is only attainable by purposefully ignoring pertinent facts… De’Andre’s victimhood, first and foremost. It’s the textbook definition of bias.

                    • We agree. Definitely.

                      I may have been a bit abstract. But I wanted to head off at the pass Beth pretending to call him a victim by saying “yeah, he shouldn’t have been hit…I agree”. Which is calling someone a victim without doing so.

                      In which case, what hangs Beth’s argument is she thinks victims are still obligated to the assailant.

                      And that is crap.

                    • And yes, her denial of his victimhood is exactly problematic for the reason you describe. If she tries to make herself consistent by saying she wouldn’t consider the girl a victim of roles were reversed then she would really be upside down.

                      If she tries to make hersef consistent by saying “yes I do think he is a victim” then she is upside down on how victims should behave for all the reasons previously discussed.

                      If she doubles down, then your analysis fully accurate.

                    • “Recipients of attacks (which Beth won’t call a victim, but I will) should get away from a fight 1st.
                      If the victim cannot get away from the fight 1st, then the recipient gets to fight back 2nd.
                      If the victim must fight back, the victim must use measured force as a response to create the conditions to default to the 1st priority (which is getting away from the fight).
                      This in general, is not a bad formula, but it does prioritize running from bad people and empowering them, and without further nuance, it compels the victim to accommodate the attacker. This is why Beth is upside down on this.”

                      I didn’t call him a victim? I said, IN THE BEGINNING, that he should press charges — you know, what victims get to do. If he did that, and had her ass: 1) kicked out of the bar; and 2) thrown in jail, he would not be empowering her, he would be punishing her appropriately for the harm committed against him. By hitting her back, all he did was escalate the situation and he potentially could have harmed her permanently. If he did this, he could have faced charges as well.

                      If anyone does NOT agree with a measured response approach, then you would have to agree that he could have taken any retaliation against her, including (but not limited to): 1) shooting her; 2) strangling her; 3) cutting her face open with a beer bottle. Because, you know, he shouldn’t have to use his brain in the heat of the moment. This is not the Wild Wild West – we have the rule of law. He could have used it — he chose not to.

                    • “I didn’t call him a victim? I said, IN THE BEGINNING, that he should press charges — you know, what victims get to do.”

                      “He was a victim in the “legal” sense — he had been attacked. But he wasn’t hurt — he was just pissed.”

                      You’ve obviously differentiated between legal victimhood and the victimhood that matters, at least to you. If you want to backtrack now and say that the ability to press charges matters most, when you so obviously discounted it previously, you at the very least don’t get to act outraged at our confusion.

                      “If he did that, and had her ass: 1) kicked out of the bar; and 2) thrown in jail, he would not be empowering her, he would be punishing her appropriately for the harm committed against him. By hitting her back, all he did was escalate the situation and he potentially could have harmed her permanently. If he did this, he could have faced charges as well.”

                      I think this suffers from the delusion that the law would care about violence against men by women. But regardless: Why is it the victim’s job to de-escalate? Why does he have a higher level of responsibility than she does? How does this not amount to victim blaming?

                      “If anyone does NOT agree with a measured response approach, then you would have to agree that he could have taken any retaliation against her, including (but not limited to): 1) shooting her; 2) strangling her; 3) cutting her face open with a beer bottle. Because, you know, he shouldn’t have to use his brain in the heat of the moment. This is not the Wild Wild West – we have the rule of law. He could have used it — he chose not to.”

                      I think we disagree with what a measured response is; If he had shot her, strangled her, or cut her, our treatment would be different because that response is much less measured. It’s a spectrum, not a switch. Equating a punch with a bullet is a fallacy, and cripplingly stupid. But even then… I think it’s fair to say that had she not broken the law, she wouldn’t have been in that position, and so she still bears an amount of responsibility for the situation.

                  • You’re just desperately grasping to save your argument and you’re failing miserably. Note that you aren’t attacking Joed or Steve for their more blanket condemnations of this, but instead are trying to parse apart what I wrote to show some sort of inconsistency — where this is none.

                    Move along.

                    • “You’re just desperately grasping to save your argument and you’re failing miserably.”

                      You can’t just say that and it be true. You see, I’ve demonstrated at least 3 or 4 times how you are upside down on this and how you obligate a victim to accommodate his/her attacker. So has Humble. This rebuttal is more recognizable as the Kindergarten, fingers in ears, response “nanner nanner nanner nanner I can’t hear yooooooooooooooooooou!!!!!”

                      “Note that you aren’t attacking Joed or Steve for their more blanket condemnations of this,”

                      Here’s some support that you are blind, when I asked if you were blind or just horribly upside down on this.

                      Steve’s “blanket” comment was clarified by experiential wisdom and Joed has made clear and substantive statements in line with Humble and my analysis. And thank goodness, since his experience in these matters bears out the abstract theory demonstrated by Humble and me.

                      Try a new diversion next time, Beth.

                      ” but instead are trying to parse apart what I wrote to show some sort of inconsistency — where this is none.”

                      Bzzzzzt! Wrong. We pushed you to either show inconsistency or a horribly upside down worldview.

                      Your answer was clear, you are consistent. Which leaves us with your espousal of a horribly upside down worldview.

                      In your own indomitable words:

                      “Move along.”

                    • I was referring to Humble, not you Tex. But, I am consistently “fair” on my approach here — whereas you both accept Wild West type rules.

                    • I think we have vastly different definitions of what ‘fair’ is. But to take this in order:

                      “You’re just desperately grasping to save your argument and you’re failing miserably.”

                      What do you think my argument is, and how do you think you’ve rebutted it? I mean…. You can’t just say thing like this and treat them as self evident truth, they aren’t. But you’ve attempted to move the goalposts so many times I don’t know what argument you’re playing pigeon chess with currently.

                      “Note that you aren’t attacking Joed or Steve for their more blanket condemnations of this, but instead are trying to parse apart what I wrote to show some sort of inconsistency — where this is none.”

                      I’ve disagreed with Joe, but his argument was more from the position that ‘you never hit girls because they’re girls” which while I disagree with it, I still find less offensive than this warped idea that De’Andre’s ‘victim-cred’ wasn’t high enough on the Beth scale so you’re willing to put the onus for responsibility on him. Because penis. Steve-O agreed with me and SMP blurted out some retardation about muscled women not being women anymore… I’m not sure how any of that ties in. It seems desperate to mention them.

                      “Move along.”

                      Make me.

                    • “but instead are trying to parse apart what I wrote to show some sort of inconsistency — where this is none.””

                      That said… This was accurate. I was trying to parse for inconsistency, but once you clarified, it became apparent that you are actually consistent. You’re consistently sexist. You consistently evade direct questions. You consistently fail to answer logic with logic. You consistently attempt to pretend you’ve won when no one has conceded anything. And while you’re often a good person, in situations where gender is concerned, you’re consistently a really bad person. I’m sorry that your flavor of liberalism with faint undertones of feminism has led you to partake of such a shitty worldview… But if you’re going to spout off, I’m going to answer you.

  15. Seriously, though, I think people should walk away from fights whenever they possibly can, regardless of the gender of your enemy, and especially in this day and age. Fighting shouldn’t be something you do recreationally; it’s the application of potentially deadly force, or can lead to such quickly, and should be reserved for life-or-death emergencies only. And, if you have no way out of it, you had better be ready and able to kill your opponent, because he may decide he wants to kill you at some point. I haven’t been remotely close to a fight since prison, but while in there I put two guys in UCONN’s prison wing ICU. Never would have happened if the incidents weren’t inside a cell, where retreat was impossible. I’m very lucky that I’m not still there because of that.

  16. Just saw the video. It seems he was way too quick to respond with force. He could have retreated from that situation. He probably thought the love tap, and especially the racial epithets, warranted that punch. If that had been my wife, he would have had a big problem. It pisses me off to see that.

  17. The one and only time I hit a woman was a Panamanian I was dating down in Puerto Rico. One day I broke up with her, because she seemed a little nuts. As luck would have it, I ran into her pretty friend, and she lured me back to her apartment, and on to other things. I get home, my motorcycle is on its side, and I see chaos in my house. Being an idiot, I go inside, where crazy Brenda holds me at gunpoint with my shotgun for about an hour. When I finally disarmed her after pledging my undying love to her, I smacked her in her face so hard that it’s probably reverberating in her head to this day.

      • I’ve got HUNDREDS of twisted tales from my life like this. In fact, I intend to finish a book during this summer vacation.

    • But Joe! At that point you had already diffused the situation. You had disarmed her. You had a duty to retreat! You should never hit a woman, for any reason! Hang your head in shame, resign from your job, and commit yourself to living under a rock as a pariah, you misogynist piece of garbage.

      • Ha! To be honest, I wanted to flat-out beat her senseless for days after that! She had a round in the chamber, and had me pretty well convinced that I was a goner. That’s the THIRD time in my life that I’ve had a loaded gun pointed to my head.

        • That’s why crimes of passion get lesser sentences — or are often subject to jury nullification. Completely understandable.

          I do not understand, however, why you’ve been in a position (3 times!) of having a gun pointed at your head, but I guess I’ll need to wait for the book ….

      • At least one (Jenner) is a surgically altered man. The others are either soaked in artificially applied male hormones for muscle gain or have worked themselves to such a pace as to have lost their fertility, thus becoming essentially neutered. Women do not naturally have such musculature and lose their femininity when they attempt to attain it.

        • You’re pretty good at diagnosis without an examination. The second bodybuilder is clearly a steroid queen. and Jenner is whatever he now says she is, I guess. Women can naturally achieve the musculature of body-builder #1, and Hope is just an athlete, that’s all. I don’t know why you would assume she’s infertile.

          • Right. I shouldn’t have included Hope in the category. And of course, no man should lay violent hands on a woman if he can avoid it, unless she’s armed or obviously so crazed that she must be restrained for her own good.

          • No, that’s backwards. I think some people might say it’s ok to slug a woman who CLAIMS to be infertile, but isn’t.

        • Well, c’mon now, I know you must be thinking what I’m thinking. What would it be like to be, um, romantic with these women (cept Bruce, of course). I’ll bet it would be like wrestling a bear, with serious Kung-Fu grip.

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