Terrell Owens has been a boon to the Eagles on the field, and nothing less than a bane to the Eagles off of the field. Yet Jesse Jackson chooses to feel the punishment is far too severe for what Terrell Owens did. For the record, Owens is being suspended without pay for a total of four games for conduct detrimental to the team. He will then be deactivated for the rest of the season with pay. I know that we don't know everything Terrell Owens has done, but here's a brief rundown of what we do know: He has fought with teammates. He has repeatedly shown a lack of professionalism. He has repeatedly insulted his teammates, most notably the excellent Donovan McNabb, the very man who threw T.O. the pass he converted for his 100th touchdown and upon whom he relies to make him look good. He has repeatedly insulted his team's management. Jesus H. Christ! He even said the team would be better off with another quarterback, the over the hill Brett Favre. Furthermore, there are indications that he was a very disruptive force in the locker room, which has been borne out with what little we have heard. I'm no expert, but if problems in a locker room bubble over to where we, the public hear about them, there's a very serious problem, and in this case, the problem is Terrell Owens.
Irreverend Jackson said, as cited in the above linked article, that the level of punishment would have been warranted if he'd've been caught shaving points from the game, selling drugs, carrying a gun, or fighting fans without sufficient restraint. I strongly disagree with both his characterization of the actual offense and the hypothetical charges he mentioned. True, Terrell Owens will not play for the rest of the season. However, he's only being suspended without pay for four games. Furthermore, the offenses Jesse mentioned would warrant far harsher treatment than T.O. is receiving. Point shaving, selling drugs, carrying an unlicensed weapon, and fighting fans would wararant at least a two season suspension, if not a lifetime ban from the game, and possibly criminal charges. I find it heartwarming that JJ thinks so little of the fans, the public, and the sport as evidenced by his belittling some very severe charges.
Jesse, I have a question for you: If I were to insult my coworkers publicly, openly criticize the management where I work, routinely display a gross lack of professionalism, publicly defame the business where I work, and serve as a very disruptive influence in the workplace, what do you think would happen to me? Just for the purposes of clarity, I'm a white man, and I'm so pale I scorch in the sun. I know exactly what would happen to me. I wouldn't be suspended for a few games, get paid for the rest of the year, or receive any of the other perks T.O. is receiving. I would be fired and escorted off the premises. I would receive no severance package, would not be eligible for unemployment compensation in the state of Alabama, and would basically be fucked. Furthermore, it would be the right decision by the business. Do you know how many times I've seen that very thing happen? Ask the owner of a business or a member of management how many times they've had to do that. Ask an average person who's been in the workplace a few years how many times they've seen that happen. Then ask me if I have any sympathy for Terrell "Toddler" Owens. The only people who have earned my sympathy in this debacle are his teammates and management. In short, go fuck yourself up the ass, Jesse Jackson and Terrell Owens.
Of course, Ralph Nader felt the need to stick his pointy nose in the situation, so the former statements apply to him. The difference is that he isn't important enough to be quoted.