You, Too, Redskins

By Susan Estrich

November 30, 2018 5 min read

How low can you go?

I'm not a huge fan of political correctness, but our capital's football team is the Redskins?

So what's a few arrests for domestic violence if you're willing to go to war over the right to offend people? Dartmouth changed the name of its team and the cheers decades ago. It didn't take litigation. But not the Redskins. The team doesn't care who it offends, as it has just proved again, so dramatically.

Reuben Foster is the San Francisco 49ers linebacker who was put on waivers on Monday after yet another arrest for domestic battery, following an arrest earlier in the year for felony domestic violence. He was the 49ers No. 1 draft pick in 2017. The team no longer want him. Who would?

On Tuesday, the commissioner put him on the exempt list, pending a final investigation.

On Wednesday, only one team in the NFL — only one — chose to pick up this "troubled" player, as news reports call him, in the hopes that he could be rehabilitated enough in the commissioner's eyes to tackle some people for it.

The Washington Redskins.

Justice Kavanaugh must be cheering in the stands.

The team Senior Vice President of Player Personnel Doug Williams told a Washington radio show on Thursday: "We've got people who are in high, high, high, high places that have done far worse, and if you look at it realistically, they're still up there. ... This is small potatoes (compared to) a lot of things out there."

Read it again. In our nation's capitol, charges for beating up women are small potatoes because everyone is doing it. How many times during the Kavanaugh hearing did someone make the point that his confirmation would send a terrible message because he so viciously attacked his critics?

Now hear this: Williams claimed on Tuesday that the team had candid conversations with University of Alabama alums (Foster is also one) on the Redskins who were "overwhelmingly supportive" of Foster. By Thursday, he was forced to admit that he actually talked to only two of the five Alabama players on the team.

"It wasn't like we gotta talk to all five," Williams said.

Nor "was it like" the team had to check with the police department that arrested Foster on Saturday. The Tampa police reported on Wednesday that the Philadelphia Eagles were the only ones to make inquiries, which presumably convinced them not to move forward.

See no evil; hear no evil. "Willful blindness," it's called in the law. It counts as criminal intent, which is a far stricter standard than the one that should be applied to the Redskins.

I have pictures of me, when I was a little girl, actually meeting the players on the Boston Patriots (now the New England Patriots). It was the old days, when they had a picnic for season ticket holders, and my uncle was a die-hard fan. I have carried those pictures around for decades. They were the most famous people I'd ever met. Nick Buoniconti? Get outta here.

Wanna buy your kids a Reuben Foster T-shirt?

Wanna explain that, really, domestic violence is small potatoes when you compare it with winning a football game?

And who cares about Reuben Foster when Donald Trump is in the White House? Nothing is wrong when everyone's doing it. Thus the triumph of moral relativism and the total erosion of responsibility.

Fame makes it a whole lot easier, as our president so famously bragged, to get women to put up with your aggressive and uninvited advances. Celebrity makes men almost as good-looking as money and power. Foster abused it. No one's even trying to pretend that the police acted unfairly. Not a word from those who are quick to call out racially suspect arrests. You know how police always target NFL players, one mistake after another? Actually, not.

You want to make eight or nine figures for playing football in front of millions of fans, behave like the hero you're getting paid to be. If you don't, go away and pay the consequences.

Anybody but the Redskins — that's who I'll be rooting for. And voting for anyone but Donald. Our kids deserve better role models.

To find out more about Susan Estrich and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate website at

Photo credit: at Pixabay

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