Sports News Without Access, Favor, Or Discretion

The NFL season is over, which means it's probably a good time for big-time NFL writers to go home and take a nap. And it seems no certified water-carrier needs a break more than SI's Peter King, who took to Twitter last night to defend the Hall of Fame candidacy of … alleged serial rapist Darren Sharper? Please note that these tweets are twice as awkward if you read any one of them out of context:


Listen, I'm really glad the Pro Football Hall of Fame doesn't have any kind of dipshit character clause in it. It prevents voters from grandstanding by omitting certain players from a ballot for supposed moral trespasses. Lawrence Taylor never would have made it to the Hall of Fame if such a clause had existed.


But this is strange hill to go die on, man. It's not a great mark of integrity for you to be a strict constructionist in this context. And it's not as if Darren Sharper was the greatest player of all time. He was an excellent safety, but still a borderline borderline candidate to begin with. If Tom Brady commits a triple murder (Lord willing!), then we've got ourselves a real moral hoohoopickle. But Darren Sharper? If I were a voter, I'd be like, "Next candidate, Darren Sharper. Think we'll ixnay on the apist-ray, eh gents?" It can be that subtle. There's nothing to gain by taking to Twitter to proclaim, "We must protect the sanctity of our process by ignoring those rapes!" You can stick to the rules and consider him in a much more discreet fashion before doing the sensible thing and quietly muttering, "Holy shit! No fucking way," and tossing his name into the wastepaper basket.

What's amazing is that this is Peter King. He never takes a stand for anything! He leads the league in maybes! Everything's always very complicated to him. Here, though, he's drawn his line in the sand—there is no room for compromise when dealing with an alleged sexual predator's inalienable right to be considered for an imaginary award by a committee of grizzled veteran football writers. I want to meet the one who actively stumps for Sharper (you know there's at least one). "Sure, he drugged and raped people. BUT LOOK AT HIS FOOTWORK!" Football never stops being weird, man.

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