I’m certainly not a great fan of NFL quarterback Michael Vick anymore than I was a fan of talk radio star Don Imus. In fact, Imus is well-known as an anti-semite, and Vick (like his younger brother) is basically a ghetto thug. However, both of these men have been treated — unreasonably, I should add — as some major societal pariahs.
What is it about their transgressions that have led the NFL and talk radio to hold these gentlemen to such holy standards?
I would suggest that the answer is best illustrated by analogy: they did something wrong at the wrong time. It is no different than the situation where a young child has violated their parent’s expectations when friends are visiting the household. To avoid embarrassment from their visible lack of control, one of the parents decides that it’s time to show that they are in charge. In attempting to set an example and prove to the visitors that they “run a tight ship”, the parent often applies punishment that exceeds the crime.
Both the NFL and talk radio have been under increased public scrutiny about the poor behavior of their stars. The respective “parents” are embarrassed and have decided to let everyone know that they are aghast and that they are in control.