Pro Football Finally Gets An Ethics Call Right!

 

So, naturally, it is being attacked.

The Pro Football Hall of Fame invites every Hall of Famer to its annual enshrinement ceremony  When asked whether O.J. Simpson, the acquitted double-killer and the newly paroled convicted burglar/kidnapper who was enshrined in 1985, will be invited to the next ceremony, the Hall of Fame told ESPN, “All Hall of Famers are invited to attend the annual enshrinement.”

This is the Bill Cosby bust story in reverse. Like Cosby, O.J.’s honor was earned before his character issues were known, and in Simpson’s case, before he embarked on an avocation as as a knife murderer. The honor was based entirely on what Simpson did on the football field, and nothing he can do subsequently can change that record, which was and is deserving of recognition. It would be a different question (though, I believe, demanding the same result) if Simpson were a member of baseball’s Hall of Fame, which has a character requirement. Not pro football. O.J. is the only murderer, but felons abound. One of the greatest running backs ever, Jim Brown, repeatedly beta up his girl friends, and that was before he was enshrined.

Has Simpson embarrassed his league, his sport and the Hall? Sure he has. Is he a pariah in the NFL? Boy, I hope so. But no Hall of Fame should try to constantly re-qualify its members once they are admitted. What standards would justify de-busting? Universities like Princeton and Yale are doing too much of this kind of thing already. O.J. Simpson was a great football player. As the song says, they can’t take that away from him. Nor should they.

However, Simpson, being treated ethically by the Hall, should show his gratitude and respect it  by never darkening its door again.

 

13 Comments

Filed under Character, Sports

13 responses to “Pro Football Finally Gets An Ethics Call Right!

  1. This is action by the Hall of Fame is an exanple from following what Christ said. “Judge not lest ye be judged.”

    Is that not good advice?

  2. Wyogranny

    “However, Simpson, being treated ethically by the Hall, should show his gratitude and respect it by never darkening its door again.”

    This.

    I’ll bet he can’t do it.

  3. Matthew B

    Second paragraph, last sentence beta -> beat

  4. Matthew B

    Like Cosby, O.J.’s honor was earned before his character issues were known, and in Simpson’s case, before he embarked on an avocation as as a knife murderer.

    We all “knew” OJ killed Ron and Nicole, Gary Condit killed his intern, and John Ramsey killed JonBonét. Gary Condit has been exonerated, and John Ramsey has been profiled in many shows strongly pointed away from him. The other two cases give me a little pause on OJ, but his other troubles temper that.

    • Those other two cases never got to the indictment stage, much less a trial. Who “knew” who killed Jon Benet. Those cases are more like the current crowd who “know” that Trump colluded with the Russians. OJ is closer to Cosby: we know both of them are guilty, because the evidence is overwhelming.

  5. Okay, Jack, how is this in contrast to how Pete Rose is treated, by the lifetime ban?

    His actions on the field are a matter of record. His actions as a manager are called into question, in that he admits to betting ON HIS team, but not against them. His was a sin of hubris, in my opinion, but he did not murder anyone (that we know of, anyway)

    The man is a legend (according to Wikipedia) “…the all-time MLB leader in hits (4,256), games played (3,562), at-bats (14,053), singles (3,215), and outs (10,328)… He won three World Series rings, three batting titles, one Most Valuable Player Award, two Gold Gloves, the Rookie of the Year Award, and also made 17 All-Star appearances at an unequaled five different positions (second baseman, left fielder, right fielder, third baseman, and first baseman). Rose won both of his Gold Gloves as an outfielder in 1969 and 1970.”

    Let the discussion begin.

    • [Found that e-mail, by the way. Hadn’t seen it at all. Thank-you!]

      WHAT discussion? That discussion is over, and I’ve settled it here.

      OJ Simpson was impeccable under the NFL Rules and the admission criteria of the NFL Hall. Your defense of Rose is pretty embarrassing:

      1. His actions on the field are a matter of record.

      He was not banned for that. He was banned because he violated a rule that every player knows and is told and reads in a posting in the clubhouse. It says, don’t bet on baseball, or you get banned for life. That’s the rule, because a gambling scandal almost killed the sport.

      2. His actions as a manager are called into question, in that he admits to betting ON HIS team, but not against them.

      Rose is one human being, not two. If he is banned for what he does as a major league player or manager, he is banned. But your argument still doesn’t work, because after decades of denying that he bet on baseball while playing—which was obviously a lie—he finally admitted that he was lying. So he bet on baseball as a player—he was just caught as a manager.

      3. His was a sin of hubris, in my opinion,

      You mean the sin of assuming that you are such a big shot that the rules and laws don’t apply to you, just the little guys? But Joe Jackson wasn’t a little guy. And you are arguing that we should validate Rose’s arrogance—he’s such a great player that the absolute rule shouldn’t be enforced in his case. This entire blog rejects that fallacy. So should you

      4. but he did not murder anyone (that we know of, anyway)

      I cannot BELIEVE you sunk to #22! You’re lucky I kept reading! Good God.

      “The man is a legend (according to Wikipedia) “…the all-time MLB leader in hits (4,256), games played (3,562), at-bats (14,053), singles (3,215), and outs (10,328)… He won three World Series rings, three batting titles, one Most Valuable Player Award, two Gold Gloves, the Rookie of the Year Award, and also made 17 All-Star appearances at an unequaled five different positions (second baseman, left fielder, right fielder, third baseman, and first baseman). Rose won both of his Gold Gloves as an outfielder in 1969 and 1970.”

      So what? He willfully and knowingly violated an iron clad, existentially necessary rule that he would be banned for life if he bet on baseball. He bet on baseball. The punishment is and must be the same for an all-time great or a batboy.

      There’s no controversy, no discussion, not argument. And no parallels with OJ whatsoever.

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