Another View, Mine: January 2019

There’s something I saw in the news recently that could become one of the biggest stories in sport around the world. Quite frankly, I hope it doesn’t.  It could really end up being quite depressing for me.

Las Vegas Police have obtained a warrant for the DNA of Cristiano Ronaldo and it has been served. Ronaldo has been accused of rape by a woman for an incident that happened in 2009 in Las Vegas. It was reported and investigated at the time, but he was not charged.  At some point, there was a civil settlement of $375,000 paid to the woman and a non-disclosure agreement was signed.

Now, the woman has filed a civil lawsuit seeking to invalidate the previous agreement and seeks more money damages. And, as I wrote previously, Las Vegas Police have reopened the case.

To be clear, rape is a very serious and horrible crime and should never be taken lightly. And I know from experience as a criminal defense lawyer that oftentimes what is reported in the press is confusing, often mistaken, and almost always un­clear. But the undisputed facts at this point are that the incident was reported at the time, that it was deemed not worthy of making a charge, that a woman, who was then in her mid-twenties, accepted a substantial monetary payment and agreed to non-disclosure. That since then, Ronaldo has become an incredibly wealthy, much-celebrated superstar. And that now, almost ten years later, the woman is coming forward seeking further compensation.

While I am a huge soccer fan; in the current “who is better Ronaldo or Messi” debate, I am a Messi guy. But there is no debate on the fact that Ronaldo is one of the greatest players of all time and has comported himself throughout the years as a great ambassador for the sport. Many will say that he is egotistical, but I would counter that is exactly what you want from a goal scorer.

And I will be very sad if either facts are uncovered to show that he is guilty of this crime or that he is unjustly prosecuted for it because of his fame and wealth.

NASCAR recently announced layoffs of 5-10% of their corporate workers. This comes just as they are acquiring control of ISC, with an apparent goal of merging NASCAR with the corporation that owns most of the tracks. Both of these entities are owned by the France family. What that means for the future of the sport is still to be determined. The only good news I can see is that Brian France appears to be out as chairman.

However, with the retirement of many of the established superstars, declining attendance and television viewership, and the lack of real competitiveness throughout the field, it is clear that this 2019 season is going to be a pivotal one for the sport.

With all of the soccer that one can see on American television these days I can honestly say that I have watched absolutely no American football this past season. I know that Clemson handily won the national championship and that the Panthers have had another uneven season.

But I have a question. Does the fact that the Clemson coach gives the primary credit for the team’s success to God and second to his players diminish and confuse the situation for his players who may not believe in God? Or does he only recruit players who believe in God?

No judgment from me either way, but I find it interesting.

The holidays were a disaster. There was much joy and fellowship with family and friends, but it was accompanied by much delicious and perhaps unhealthy food. Fat Boy index: 298.