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Sports version of police beat

Published: Friday, July 25, 2014 11:06 p.m. CDT

The sports news feed read like the police blotter on Thursday.

Headline No. 1: Ray Rice gets suspended two games by the NFL for beating up his then-fiancée on camera.

On camera is the key. The "happy" couple quickly married in a nicely thought-out legal trick. So, punishment essentially fell into the laps of the NFL.

He might not have received any punishment, if not for that tape of him dragging the unconscious body of his "loved one" through the lobby of a casino.

Let's face it, NFL running backs have a habit of dodging justice better than tacklers. Who can forget: "If the glove doesn't fit, you must acquit."

Since the tape's release, the league and the Ravens have been in a blitz to protect Rice. Not so much the woman, the small print seeming to indicate that maybe she had it coming. ESPN analyst Stephen A. Smith seems to think so.

He said Friday on ESPN's First Take that women need to be told, "don't do anything to provoke wrong actions. …"

Let's all believe coach John Harbaugh, who called the situation "no big deal," and that Rice is a "great guy." Harbaugh went to sleep later that night, can you believe it?

The good news was that Rice wasn't smoking marijuana on the tape. If he had been doing that, he would have been suspended at least four games, per NFL rule.

Here's the hint guys – don't do drugs. Beat women, but don't do drugs.

But that's not the only lovely sports headline.

Did you see that Chuck Knoblauch's ceremony to be inducted into the Twins Hall of Fame had to be canceled?

Why, you ask?

Well, it seems a former wife's face ended up at the wrong end of his fist.

It's the second former wife, who made the same mistake. That one happened in 2010.

It seems he's better at hitting women than he was at hitting the first baseman's glove on throws from second. Yankees fans know what I am talking about.

Oh, and in Texas, two wide receivers on the college (code for professional) football team – you know the one, the Longhorns – were charged with sexual assault.

Kendall Sanders – one of the two receivers charged – also faces a second charge for improper photography. He also was suspended form the team in 2013 for a drunken driving arrest.

I know it's football, not baseball, but has this kid reached his third strike yet? It probably depends on how good he is.

Luckily no headlines moved on Aaron Hernandez, the poster child for the modern athlete who feels the laws don't really apply to him, as long as he keeps catching touchdowns.

Does this ever end? Probably not.

It could (it won't), but it would have to start young.

We have to teach children the difference between making a mistake and committing a crime.

A mistake is forgetting to pick up the milk on the way home from work, or not setting the alarm to get up on time in the morning.

Making a mistake, can and should be forgiven.

Taking copious amounts of drugs, driving very fast and drunk and, yes, using a loved one as a punching bag are all decisions, wrong decisions, that result in crimes.

Crimes ought to be punished, and that punishment should fit the crime, no matter how many yards a guy plods, fantasy football points he scores, or tickets he sells.

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