Rob Teilhet On Donald Sterling, Sports, And Priorities

Former State Rep and father of daughters Rob Teilhet posted the following to Facebook and I think it’s worth sharing. I do so with his permission.  Note it wasn’t composed as a column, but was essentially a riff on what our real problems and priorities are.  As the brother of three sisters and uncle of two nieces, I agree with his position.

In the span of about 72 hours since Donald Sterling was revealed as a racist on audiotape, the NBA moved decisively by banning him for life and setting in motion a process that will force him to sell his team. There is no place in the NBA for a racist. It has been awesome to see an organization not only get it, but act on it without hesitation.

There is another issue that I wish we would move on with the same urgency: violence against women.

Just as I heard Donald Sterling on tape describing his abhorrent views regarding race, I also saw on videotape Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice dragging his girlfriend’s limp body through a casino lobby. Her body was limp because he had beaten her unconscious in front of several witnesses minute before. He is still in the NFL and is still a Raven.

The Tallahassee Police Department declined to investigate an alleged sexual assault of a female student by a football player at the local university, an activity that had been videotaped. Had the tape been obtained and witnesses interviewed at the time of the report, we would probably know whether the assault that was alleged took place. Now, we’ll never know. Everyone involved with the exception of the alleged victim continues in the same capacity they were in before, and no one has been sanctioned or faced discipline in any way for any of it.

In Ann Arbor, the placekicker and star left tackle were alleged to have been involved in a sexual assault and subsequent harassment of the victim. For four years no action was taken. The placekicker was eventually expelled from school–after his eligibility had expired. In the FSU and Michigan cases, the federal government will require some answers for why these public universities chose to do so little. The investigations into the institution’s inaction will last months, probably even years. Would we have accepted that timeline for Mr. Sterling?

And just this morning, I read that we still do not know the answer to what seems to be a relatively simple question: Did Vanderbilt’s then-football coach contact a woman in the days after she made a sexual assault report against four of the team’s players and if he did, what was the nature and purpose of that contact? That is an easy question to find out the answer to, yet it has not been done. It hasn’t been done either because no one in authority cares whether it happened or they don’t want to know the answer. Both are unacceptable.

The saddest part is that I could keep going all morning. When women are the victims, there is so very little action, and it is so very, very late. And people seem to be largely o.k. with that.

Maybe if you had three daughters, you’d feel differently.


  1. Noway says:

    Touching post and he’s absolutely correct. This just stresses the importance of all of us watching out for and caring for, protecting, if you will, the women in our lives.

  2. Ellynn says:

    The NBA acted quickly because the majority of the players were ready to walk during the playoffs (men being insulted by another man…), costing the NBA money. The sponsers were leaving in mass, costing the NBA money. People where willing to forgo buying tickets, costing the NBA money.

    Until a Football loving male is ready to fogo his SEC season tickets for a star player not even on his team striking a women to protest the abuse, it’s not going to stop. Not even a the assult of children really effected the NCAA in long run.

  3. Rich says:

    I’ve not read such a fine example of defocusing since the cause for an MLK statue was transformed into a call to action for charter schools.

    While close to the topic of women’s rights, Jimmy Carter has an excellent new book on the subject titled… “A Call to Action,” focusing on violence and discrimination against women. It touches on the reality that Atlanta is a hotbed for sex traffic, so is also related to the peach state.

  4. Dawgfan says:

    I’ve always wanted to ask Urban Meyer if a player had sent the text “Time to die b*tch” to his daughter would he ever play again?

  5. Dave Bearse says:

    “Would we have accepted that timeline for Mr. Sterling?”

    Of course and we did. Sterling paid the DOJ nearly $3M in 2006 to settle a housing discrimination suit, after sworn testimony that “Hispanics smoke, drink, and just hand around the building” and “black tenants smell and attract vermin”.

  6. Ed says:

    Universities failed to investigate crime… hmmm almost makes you widh there were agencies in each jurisdiction charged with enforcing laws… if only…

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