Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Alabama man pleads guilty in BCS video case

Alabama man pleads guilty in BCS video case
Published on Sports Impact | shared via feedly
An Alabama man has pleaded guilty to two counts of obscenity for sexually taunting an unconscious LSU fan in a Bourbon Street restaurant after the BCS national title game in January.
Prosecutors said a deal reached Tuesday before the scheduled start of a trial for Brian H. Downing of Smith Station, Ala., calls for him to be sentenced to two years in jail. State District Judge Karen Herman set sentencing for Nov. 29.
A video that went viral on the Internet appeared to show someone in a University of Alabama jacket performing a simulated sex act on an unconscious man at the restaurant after the Crimson Tide beat LSU for the BCS football championship on Jan. 9.
Via the AP.

Here is what appeared in this space on Sunday, January 25, 2012, the day the video went viral:

What that sick bastard is shown doing to an unconscious rival fan is a crime. It is sexual assault and he needs to be identified, arrested and put on trial. It isn’t funny and if you’ve seen the video and laughed at it, then you’re no better than he is. Nor are any of the fans who stood around, did nothing about it and recorded it on cell phones.

Alabama fans like to say that they display more class than other fan bases. Incidents like this belie that claim and simply reinforce the stereotypes people hold regarding the Bama Nation. The argument that this was an isolated incident and doesn’t reflect on the entire fan base falls on deaf ears—dozens of people stood around and did nothing to stop the apparent abuse.

It wasn’t funny. If the events unfolded as the video appears to show, then that was sexual assault. It wasn’t cool. It was a crime. Behavior like that has no place in a civilized society and if Alabama fans expect to be treated with respect and dignity when they encounter other fans, then the Bama Nation needs to turn its back on this guy, and turn his ass in.
Harvey Updyke and Brian Downing are not people to be celebrated. They are not people to pal around with or to pose with in pictures. They are not heroes.

They are an absolute abomination and stand in complete contrast to what the University of Alabama and its sports programs are supposed to be about.

I was horrified when I saw that video. I couldn't believe that another human being would treat his fellow man in such an undignified way. It's like knocking the snot out of your opponent on the field and instead of helping him up and patting him on the back, you stand over him, lower your drawers and piss on him.

That's class? That's funny? Not in the Alabama fan base I grew up in in the 1970's and 1980's.

That's how people behave in Somalia and Benghazi. It is not how civilized people treat fans of rival programs after beating them. That's not acting like you've been there.

A two-year sentence seems harsh. But at least Downing doesn't have to register as a sex offender. He'll be able to see his kids' sporting events and dance recitals. He'll be allowed to attend his children's Christmas plays and Easter Passion reinactments. He should consider himself lucky.

And if you disagree with this assessment, know this: I don't care how it makes you feel.

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