Friday, September 17, 2010

Friday morning observations on death threats, sexual abuse and Derek Jeter

Alleged Plot To Harm The Pope By 5 Men Reported To Be Of Middle Eastern Origin

If there were actually a plot against Pope Benedict XVI as it seems there may have been, thank G-d that it was found out and stopped. One can only think though, what worldwide reaction would have been if he had been harmed. Would there be rioting and violence in the streets across the globe? Or would there have been pockets of violent protest coupled with the appropriate anger expressed in verbal and written diatribes.

This is asked in relation to rioting that has taken place in the Muslim world over "transgressions" much less egregious.

Priests and Sexual Abuse

Pope Benedict XVI in his visit to the U.K. has dedicated part of his discussion to addressing the Roman Catholic Church response to sexual abuse perpetrated by priests. The abuse has been an ugly little "secret" for more years than can reasonably be excused, and even the response of this Pope to the problem both in the past and today has been somewhat less than overwhelming. The Pope in his statements said this abuse came as a shock and a surprise, but that seems to be somewhat disingenuous. The quote is:

"These revelations were for me a shock and a great sadness. It is difficult to understand how this perversion of the priestly ministry was possible. How a man who has done this and said this (in his priestly vows) can fall into this perversion is difficult to understand."

It is also a great sadness that the authorities of the church were not sufficiently vigilant and insufficiently quick and decisive in taking the necessary measures."

Derek Jeter "Scandal"

The "scandal" over Derek Jeter's not owning up to not being hit by a pitch the other night is probably one of the most ridiculous things that I have heard debated in professional sports. Other than a tennis player who should own up to touching a ball and therefore losing the point, in what sport does a professional tell the umpire, referee, line judge or any other official that he or she made a mistake and that a call should be reversed.

Is it a bad line call in tennis that leads to a victory, a foul that never actually happened in basketball leading to a game winning free throw, a catch that actually wasn't made in football leading to a critical first down, a ball called foul that a fielder saw was fair in baseball or maybe a defender in soccer touching the ball with his hand in his own teams goalie box? In these cases and more should the player tell the referee that he should reverse a call or make another call?

Let's get serious and let the officials do their jobs and the players do their jobs. If 100% accuracy in sports officiated by humans is the desire, then have machines make or check every play to certify accuracy. Otherwise let it go.

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