I do. Can we go back to it?
In case you missed it, Stewart Downing found himself in the Stony Lonesome for a few hours Saturday night. It could be for assault, he could have been assaulted, they could both be guilty, whatever. I won't comment until we actually know what happened here. What we do know is that Downing found himself in a situation he probably shouldn't be in. No, that doesn't mean I don't think a player has a right to go get pissed up with friends when he's got a day or two off. Of course he does. He probably even should. But you can't be engaging in fights or bad situations, which this is.
I will take the opportunity, while again stressing I have no idea what Downing did or didn't do and this doesn't really have anything to do with him, that domestic abuse and the beating of women is something the entire sports world has taken embarrassingly lightly for as long as I can remember. It's an abhorrent act, sets an awful example for young boys and men out there, and really is something that every sport need to review on how it deals with it.
It's an odd world where Michael Vick's crimes still get mentioned, as terrible as they were and I'm a dog lover, but Ben Roethlisberger, essentially a rapist, rarely is tagged with that. Soccer is no better. Quite simply, if one if guilty of hitting a woman, the ban should be as longer than a simple red card offense or even the eight games Suarez got for racist remarks. Beating or abusing women is not any less of a stain on society than racism is.
Anyway, I'll get off the soapbox now. We'll get together tomorrow for the first leg of the Carling Cup semifinal. Somehow, I don't think Downing will feature.