The New York Post's Phil Mushnick reports on a story that you'd think would grab some pretty big headlines. Oops -- then again, maybe not. Y'see, the accused is black -- and a pro athlete -- so his infraction isn't as "bad" in the eyes of the media (and liberals).
After all, the story broke Tuesday, and, while it's hardly news that the NFL's violent criminal population is on the grow, this one's too ugly to be shorted or ignored. But it has been. Tuesday in a Los Angeles courtroom, Bears CB Ricky Manning, already on probation for a 2003 assault, pleaded no contest to felony assault.
The assault occurred in a Denny's restaurant near UCLA on April 23 at 3 a.m.
According to the victim's claims in the police report obtained by NBCsports.com, Manning, Tyler Ebell and Maurice Jones-Drew - all former UCLA football players - were among a group of customers who began to bully 25-year-old Soroush Sabzi, who was seated alone nearby, working on his laptop.
When Sabzi, a student and Swedish citizen of Persian descent, asked to be left alone, the insults, including, "Are you a faggot?" and "You f - - - ing Jew," continued.
Sabzi, the police report continues, next called out for restaurant management. At that point, Manning approached Sabzi, who was still seated, stood above him and called him a "an ugly f - - - ing Jew" and a "faggot."
When, according to the report, the victim again asked to be left alone, Manning began to slap him. Manning's accomplices joined in. Sabzi was punched to the ground then kicked, leaving "visible injuries to his face, cheek, head and [sic] lost consciousness for approximately 10 seconds." (My emphasis.)
Now consider the media hype over the actions by someone like John Rocker. Rocker, to be sure, is a total idiot and bigot. But at least all he did was use some generalized inappropriate words about certain groups of people. And what happened? He was turned into something anathema. There's also Jimmy "The Greek" Snyder. Al Campanis. And, most recently, Rush Limbaugh whose comments weren't even about stereotypical aspects of race (like the two before him), only an opinion about media perception.
Which leads into Mushnick's closer:
But imagine - and by now most of us can - the fallout if Manning and his pals, African-Americans, had been white, and their victim had been black. And imagine if the victim's claim in the police report read that, instead of being cursed as a Jew and a homosexual, he'd been called a "f - - - ing n - - - - r."
Then take it from there - the no contest felony plea, followed by a specious insistence of innocence, followed by the Bears' "disappointment with Ricky," followed by the NFL's position that "it's under review."
Imagine the outrage from the news media, the sports media, politicians and, yes, Chicago's own Rev. Jesse ("Hymietown") Jackson.
Indeed. And it's another reason why so-called "hate crimes" are a joke. As we've argued here numerous times, they're selectively enforced. Selectively UNenforced, that is, usually when the perpetrator is a member of a minority group. After all, it doesn't get much more cut and dry than Manning's case -- he used violence against a man after uttering ethnic and homophobic epithets.