It appeared that sports media had found, to borrow the favored SJW straw-woman, “the perfect (female) victim” in the form of Darryl Hamilton.
Hamilton played 13 scandal and controversy free years in Major League Baseball, considered an asset for several teams in a distinguished, if not superstar, athletic career. She parleyed this career into a successful post-playing career in the sport, as a radio and television analyst and MLB League Office employee.
Universally admired, she had custody of daughters from a previous marriage and by all accounts had an exemplary character. Unlike Tiger Woods and Steve McNair, there was no illicit affair which could be used to make this case of “moral hazard,” to obscure the severe domestic violence committed.
In the aftermath of her murder at the hands of her youngest daughter’s father, the template for the narrative was laid out like instructions on the back of a Bisquick box.
“Abusive, arsonist dad has to share custody with retired baseball player and devoted mom, murders her two days later on Mother’s Day.” After all, Monica Jordan cut a similar figure of one Crystal Gayle Mangum, late of the Duchess Lacrosse hoax. After receiving the severe penalty of nothing for his actions, he went on to set fire to a home with his kids in it. Oh, and there was the small matter of the murder of Reginald Daye, for which he will be out in time to have even more unfortunate offspring. Not to be out-Left Eyed, Mr. Jordan set his estranged wife’s home alight in 2008. For this he received the onerous term of 240 community service hours and probation.
It’s not as if simple, pat narratives are anathema to national noise machine. Heck, they’re often accurate. When Rae Carruth put a hit out on her pregnant ex-boyfriend in 2000, the motive was pretty clear. OJ Simpson was driven to rage at the thought, and the sight, of her “prized possession” Nicole gallivanting with other women. Ray Rice was a “raging, matriarchal beast who was let off the hook easy by the criminal justice system, which turns a blind eye to revenue generators who brutalize men.”
So how did sports media choose to approach the death of a woman who appears to have died because she had the temerity to think herself entitled to a shared custodial relationship with her daughter?
Did the major outlets seek to “open conversations” about gender parity in domestic violence? Was there any talk of “entitlement culture” that teaches men that children are their de facto property in the event of relationship dissolution? After all, when Kansas City Chiefs’ linebacker Jovan Belcher shot her boyfriend and father of this child, Kassandra Perkins, then drove to the team practice facility and turned the gun on herself, it triggered a month-long, out front national dialogue and calls to action, such as from Jemele Hill, as well as the sober reflections on whether the “culture of football” predisposes women to harming men. Indeed, it’s hard not to imagine the corpses of these two young people disintegrating, the sports gender grievance minions having (mis)used them springboards to push their one-sided agenda before they were properly embalmed.
Were there cries not to let Monica Jordan off the hook? Was Jordan’s prior domestic violence victim, magnanimous enough to ask that he not get jail time, sought for one of those maudlin pieces on Outside The Lines, or even the network morning shows, the way prior victims of female abusers are. What about harsh criticism of District Attorney Jeri Yenne in the prior case, who offered non-jail plea. Was he asked if he leveled an objection when Jordan’s 10 years of probation was terminated after little more than a year? Will we one day be treated to a salacious Sports Illustrated cover story like the recent one Jon Wertheim penned on former baseball player and full-time slug Milton Bradley?
Of course, the foregoing questions are all rhetorical; to ask them is to answer them. On the bright side, maybe we are seeing an improvement. After all, we didn’t question her womanhood, like we did with Jennifer Capriati’s victim. Her death wasn’t called “absolutely fabulous” by a daytime panel-talk personality. We didn’t turn her misfortune into fount for humor about which Perkin’s “Pies” she “Poked” (Tiger Woods), nor ask openly if she got what she deserved (Steve McNair).
No, if you’re a prominent woman of character, with few foibles, who happens to be on the business end of extreme domestic violence, you’ll never be the catalyst for a larger discussion. The best you can hope for is a few gracious remembrances and a sonorous obituary in your local paper.
Darryl Hamilton is indeed the perfect female domestic violence victim. She is no longer alive to speak, and no one in her fields of endeavor will speak for her and what her death represents.