I’ve witnessed the disturbing manner in which many Phillies phans have rushed to convict pitcher Brett Myers. I haven’t changed my mind about how to process his situation as a phan. His reputation is in shambles, most likely due to his own actions, but he does not deserve the rush to judgment. There will be time to condemn Mr. Myers later, should a conviction or guilty plea come. I think that’s still the reasonable view, which is why this story about his scheduled start tomorrow is bizarre to me:
Local groups dedicated to ending domestic violence have no plans to protest tomorrow’s Phillies game. Brett Myers is scheduled to make his first appearance at Citizens Bank Park since being charged with domestic assault and battery on his wife in Boston during the early morning of June 23.
“We are not planning a protest and I’m not aware of anyone who is,” Heather Keafer of Women Against Abuse said yesterday. “I think the fans have had great response in the past, and I’m hopeful they’ll continue their pressure to make sure that he’s held accountable for his actions.”
If they were planning to protest a man who is innocent until proven guilty, I’d be among those (maybe a party of one) protesting the protest. But to the point raised in this initial excerpt, that last sentence doesn’t bode well. I shouldn’t have to stop momentarily to point out that Mr. Myers’s actions are still alleged. Ms. Keafer’s call for the continued abandonment of American legal principles by the public is disturbing. Is she so unsure of the public’s acceptance that she’s on the correct side that she must encourage the mob’s mentality?
Keafer said the Phillies met last week with the Pennsylvania Coalition Against Domestic Violence in an effort to develop a domestic violence policy. Women Against Abuse and three other domestic violence agencies in the city are members of the Pennsylvania Coalition Against Domestic Violence.
“They’ve had one meeting so far, and part of that proposal is also to help support the Philadelphia domestic violence hotline, which is run by Women Against Abuse and three other domestic violence providers in Philadelphia,” Keafer said. “What we’re trying to do now is work with our state coalition to help the Phillies come up with a domestic violence policy and possible inclusion in their code of conduct.
It’s not a stretch to say that domestic violence is unacceptable. I doubt the Phillies disagreed before the alleged incident involving Brett Myers and his wife. Given their actions since his arrest, however belated (and over-reactionary) they may have been, it’s reasonable to assume the team understands the seriousness of this issue. They get the message, like everyone else. No surprise there. So why is this (alleged) incident by a player sufficient to encourage what appears to be nothing more than a shakedown of the Phillies?