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Time Out: Sports stars above the law

by The Concordian February 7, 2001
We all preach that sexual offenders should be punished, that they should be put in jail; yet we have swarms of people lining up outside the Montreal courthouse to catch a glimpse of Davey Hilton.
Hilton, a world lightweight boxing champion, is on trial for the repeated molestation of two young girls, sisters no less. Yet you have lines of people waiting outside the courtroom just to catch of such a ‘great’ man.
Generally when we hear stories of men or women who molest children, we send a lynch mob after them. People preach that they should be locked up forever, they are condemned before the trial and they are usually shunned, even if they are
proven not guilty at trial; but with Hilton, people can’t get enough of his ‘pretty face.’ They want a chance to look at him, to get an autograph and in some extreme cases, a kiss.
Okay so maybe he is a star and it’s always exciting to meet a star, but what kind of message are we sending?
We are telling Hilton, and every other sports star in his place, that it is okay to be suspected in any crime. We are saying that no matter what we will stand behind them and keep preaching their greatness. We are telling society to be angry at people who commit crimes, unless they are stars, then they are just misunderstood people who need our support.
There seems to be a trend of sports stars running into trouble with the law lately. Yet, most of these men are still heralded as some of the greatest athletes of our generation.
That’s not to say that they were not talented athletes, but they did commit crimes that the justice systems of the United States was willing to punish them for, even while the public was not. Why should we in the ‘Great Canadian North’ be any different?
It frightens me to think that we can live in a society that decides that a person who commits a crime is still worthy of praise just because they have some athletic talent.
Don’t get me wrong, I am not saying that Hilton is guilty, that’s not for me to decide, I am just saying that our society condemns sexual offenders, but at the same time, they will throw away all their principles to succumb to their star gazing dreams.

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