This has now become the strangest, most poorly acted episode of SVU anyone has ever seen. And anyone taking to any form of internet commentary to celebrate a still-in-doubt outcome of this sickening display is only fooling themselves.
As has been reiterated here time and again from Jump Street in this whole debacle, the numbers as a result of the culture we live in always said that this was going to go away with only the slightest inconvenience to Garbage Dick and any hockey proceedings, and now that is all but assured. But absolutely no one comes off looking even the slightest bit professional in this, from the DA to Kane’s camp to the accuser to most emphatically Hawks fans.
While District Attorney Frank Sedita tried to reclaim some semblance of control of the case with their press conference this morning, clearly things spiraled beyond their reach to allow things to get to this point. It was always going to be a “three ring circus” (Sedita’s exact words this morning), but the manner in which it got here could have been predicted by no one. Even from the get go, the sad predictability of the bar owner’s comments tainted public perception early on and it’s only worsened. It seems very unlikely that there is any way this can get even a clean grand jury proceeding let alone an actual trial, and Sedita’s regime will forever wear this case and will hurt the electability he does not mince words about craving.
The Hawks themselves, particularly John McDonough, will also be defined by this. A career’s worth of public relations genius is nearly totally undone at this point, as the team is inexorably linked with the player and this nightmare by their own doing. They chose to stand by their player, reluctantly or not, and give him the pulpit from which to profess his innocence as well as create no consequence for their franchise centerpiece in the crowning event of a lifetime of being enabled. The league itself also showed extreme cowardice in their mealy-mouthed buck passing to the Hawks. Last week at this time the consensus was that the press conference in South Bend was the absolute nadir of the situation, and yet it has gotten exponentially worse since then, with the team and league now being complicit in all of it, particularly telling female fans that being good at sports is a greater asset from a public relations standpoint than being under investigation for a sexual assault is a detriment.
Kane himself and his inner circle have always looked like clowns with his antics prior to these events, if choking women and hurling anti-semitic slurs can be labeled “antics”. But with the aforementioned bar owner and the compromised chauffeur/Buffalo police sergeant on Kane’s payroll coming more to the forefront, things only looked worse for all of them with the raised stakes, even with his complete bungling of his own press conference wherein there was not a question left unappreciated.
And sadly, the victim’s camp is now left with a mark as well. The truth to the origins and motivation behind the mystery evidence bag will likely never come out, but the last 16 hours have all but sealed the fate of this case. Their representation did them a profound disservice by not only going public with the information before it was fully vetted, but also by inadvertently serving up her actual name to the CHUDs. But it’s yet another shining example of the victim being on trial in sexual assault cases. Despite doing everything correctly on paper in going to the hospital and police immediately and not being a part of any kind of settlement talks, the process is still undermined by a mistake on her part, one which she may not have even been party to. And it’s a sickening and saddening commentary on this rape culture that a man with a history of grotesque behavior towards women is given far more benefit of the doubt than the accuser, even if this is a world class fuck up by her mother and her attorney. It once again goes back to intent versus outcome here. Regardless of whatever technicality or misstep that allows Patrick Kane to remain unpunished and enabled, the fact remains this woman felt wronged enough to go through the horrific re-victimization process, which speaks louder to the fact that something terrible happened that night in August than anything else.
But most of all, this has been an all-time ass-showing for any kind group of sports fans, right up there with the Penn State zombies. The response from people, the vast majority of which are white men, has been sickening and emblematic of just what exactly rape culture is. As Sam touched on yesterday even shouting “wait for the facts” from the highest mountain is a passive aggressive pile on to what makes it so difficult for women to come forward in situations like this, when it’s with someone famous or not. That things have spiraled out into the harassment of the victim on any form of social media available to people with only recently developed opposable thumbs is a revalidation of what the point here has always been: that sports and the men who play them are more important than any semblance of a feeling of safety women wrongly think they have a right to. That Julie DiCaro had to be held out of work today because of threats made against her for doing her job is absolutely revolting. And because of that the comments will be closed. We will in no way risk even passively providing a forum for such terrible behavior, let alone one with every single one of our real names attached to it. It is not possible to remove all vitriol and harassment from the internet, but we will control what we can here and on any other communication outlet that we can be found on.
Any so-called Hawks fan persisting that it’s a loud minority or that these people aren’t representative of them now need to take this cue and stand up and shout down these wretched wastes of oxygen. Anything less is tacit endorsement. Even if it’s as a result of the inalienable right of internet commenting being taken away being more important than any rights a woman has the arrogance to believe she has, at least it’s a half-assed step in the right direction. But it’s already too late. The damage has been done here and there will be no reclamation of dignity, let alone any justice done.