August 13, 2015

Blaming the victim: Witnesses say Geno Smith "deserved" the sucker punch that broke his jaw.

Because he "was up in (Enemkpali’s) face and pointed/touched his face."
“That’ll get a man hit every time, especially one that hasn’t earned respect,” a source said.
Ridiculous. You don't get away with socking a guy in the face just because he made you mad and you don't respect him. That's a far cry from self defense.

Smith may well be a nonangel, but that's hardly the issue here.

89 comments:

tim maguire said...

If I were the owner or manager, I'd be just peachy that one of my players knocked the starting quarterback out for half a season. But this is the NFL, so I'm assuming no jail time.

There is such a thing as "having it coming," but there's nothing manly about a sucker punch.

Anonymous said...

Sounds as if Smith touched Elemenope's, or however you spell that's, face, then a line was crossed.
What is the threshold for assault?
If there can be words that are so provoking so as to fall outside a frre speech protection, then where is the line on assault?

And any average guy will tell you that once contact is initiated a fight is obligatory.

Meade said...

Send both big babies to bed without any supper.

Etienne said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Char Char Binks, Esq. said...

If Smith touched E's face first, it wasn't a sucker punch.

Ann Althouse said...

Just because you may lose free speech protection when the words amount to "fighting words" doesn't mean that the one who throws the punch has a defense. But we might lose sympathy for a victim that aggravates a person into losing control and committing a crime. That's exactly what "blaming the victim" refers to. Maybe there should be more victim-blaming. Those who aggravate others into losing control are dangerous. But don't say that about women or... them's fighting words.

Bay Area Guy said...

Is it really a sucker punch, if the person punched is wagging a finger all in your face?

I thought, historically, a sucker punch, was when you cowardly hit someone by surprise.

However, since I haven't had a fist fight since my teens, I may be widely out of the loop on pugilistic protocol.

Alexander said...

I for one must call out Althouse for her racist presupposition that non-AngloSaxons ought be expected to live by and respect Anglosaxon legal concepts. Prosecution, Defense, Witnesses... nobody got time to follow the tradition of some old dead white guys just because Midwestern professors like living in the society it produces.

Diversity, baby! It won't be limited to the football locker room!

How you pleadin'

Ya' honah, Tyjavius had it comin'

Fair 'nuff. Verdict is dindu nuffin.

#BlackJawsMatter

J. Farmer said...

This kind of reminds me of how so many in the progressive media ran to the defense of tranny Zoey Tur for threatening to assault Ben Shapiro because he called her "sir." You see, he was being provocative. And Zoey's, like most of the women we all know, first reaction to provocation was to put her hand on the back of Ben's neck and threaten to put him "in an ambulance." I just wish Ben had been quick enough on his feet to respond, "That's not very ladylike."

traditionalguy said...

Interestingly, a high level of individual vigilante justice for "fighting words" is a habit in the black communities that traditionally have not had access to the courts and misdemeanor warrants to settle differences. They habitually settle things between themselves like prisoners running the Penal Institutions do.

Black on black violence is not the oddity. It is the way things are done.

B said...

If you're eye to eye and poking someone while you taunt them, then it's not a sucker punch.

Beldar said...

There are lots of different kinds of responsibility.

If we're talking legal responsibility -- civil or criminal -- then Prof. Althouse is right.

Some of us hold ourselves to higher standards of civility, of prudence, of foresight, of discretion. Once upon a time, most of us held professional athletes to those higher standards, because we thought that was a fair trade for our making them rich and making them role models.

It's hard to imagine Bart Starr, Roger Staubach, or even Peyton Manning getting into this kind of altercation with a teammate. But that's a sad commentary on society in general and professional sports in particular.

Original Mike said...

Poor baby was dissed.

Eric the Fruit Bat said...

A good Christian would have turned the other face.

mikee said...

An interesting question that arises here: What method of de-escalation could one or both of these individuals used, that would have settled the altercation nonviolently?

In the context of NFL players, that is, not 5 year olds.

Original Mike said...

Looks like he was picked up by the Bills. Rex Ryan says he was "a good team mate". Hard to square that with breaking your quarterback's jaw.

Brando said...

There's a lot of people who are far too unevolved to figure out how to handle slights to their dignity without violence. They operate outside the bounds of civil society.

I wonder if the NFL will treat this guy as they did Ray Rice?

Roughcoat said...

And any average guy will tell you that once contact is initiated a fight is obligatory.

I agree. Contact is the casus belli.

285exp said...

Mr Smith made $1.1M last year and is due to make $1.4M this year. He no-showed at this guys camp, didn't call anybody to tell them, refused to pay back the $600 he gave him for the plane ticket and room, then got up in the face of the guy when he called him out for it.

No, Enemkpali shouldn't have punched him, but it wasn't a sucker punch, and if you get up in the face of a man whose job it is to hurt people, especially if you are in the wrong, then you deserve what you get. Smith has just shown his teammates and the organization that he's not a leader, he'll be out of the league before long. Good, he sucked anyway.

Larry J said...

When two men are heated exchanging words and one man touches the other's face, it's on. You may not approve or understand, but that's how it is.

Roughcoat said...

Send both big babies to bed without any supper.

Oh, snap, girlfriend.

Smith's jaw is wired shut. No supper for him in any case.

Andrew said...

I'm not black, but you have words with me and TOUCH MY FACE, I'm knocking your teeth out. There will be a blow hole where your mouth and nose once were. Fighting words are harmless, I'll walk away, I'll tell them I'm a coward, but TOUCH MY FACE, fuck them.

Sucker punches are a totally different animals. Gentlemen don't throw them except when out numbered and there is no way out. Ever been mugged?



.

Bobby said...

Bay Area Guy,

That's a good question. Maybe there is a difference between a "sucker punch" and what professional wrestling called (at least when I was growing up) a "Pearl Harbor"? The latter term was much more descriptive and selective, because the victim did not know and had no way of knowing that any violence was inbound. For example, in 1986, when "Mr. Wonderful" Paul Orndorff Pearl Harbor'd Hulk Hogan at the end of their tag team match against Big John Studd and King Kong Bundy. No way the Hulkster knew that was coming. No way.

Goju said...

Smith was not a victim. It was mutual combat. I escalated because of anger and aggression issues they both had. And hey were not in that locker room alone. Why didn't teammates, coaches, trainers, etc, step in? Protecting the QB is drummed into all players. They even give QBs a red jersey in practice to no one lays a hand on them.

This is not blaming the victim. It is also not - IMHO - an excuse not for the LB to be charged.

DanTheMan said...

>>It's hard to imagine Bart Starr, Roger Staubach, or even Peyton Manning

Peyton mooned some female staffer in the locker room at UT. In front of plenty of witnesses.

So, I'd say it would be pretty easy to imagine he would do something else stooopid.

Gahrie said...

Hard to square that with breaking your quarterback's jaw.

Unless your QB is a punk, and it sounds like Smith was.

Ron Winkleheimer said...

Is the good Professor just trolling us, or is her inner hippy showing through?

traditionalguy said...

Punch, punch, punch. Doesn't anyone wrestle anymore?

A take down followed on the way down
With a quick Rhonda Rousey arm bar and Mr Smith would have paid the $600 gladly.

Gusty Winds said...

Thank God it wasn't a white player that broke his jaw, or Ferguson might to up in flames again tonight.

This will disappear in the news cycle and will soon be ignored like all black on black crime.

dwick said...

Ridiculous. You don't get away with socking a guy in the face just because he made you mad and you don't respect him.

Enemkpali was immediately released by the Jets. How was that 'getting away with' anything?
I'm betting Althouse has never spent a minute in even a pee wee football team locker room - let alone a testosterone-filled NFL locker room...

Bobby said...

According to Fox Sports, Enemkpali passed his physical with the Buffalo Bills and is now a member of the Bills. For those who are only casual followers of the NFL, the Bills's head coach is Rex Ryan, last year's head coach of -- you guessed it -- the New York Jets.

Unknown said...

The name's Enemkpali,but everybody calls me Psycho. Any of you guys call me Enemkpali, and I'll kill you.

Geno:
Ooooooh.

You just made the list, buddy. Also, I don't like no one touching my stuff. So just keep your meathooks off. If I catch any of you guys in my stuff, I'll kill you. And I don't like nobody touching me. Any of you homos touch me, and I'll kill you.

Coach:
Lighten up, Enemkpali.

Original Mike said...

"Unless your QB is a punk, and it sounds like Smith was."

I understand that Smith "deserved it" but I reiterate, if you punch your quarterback in the face you are not a "good teammate". Now if he had punched the punter ....

Original Mike said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Unknown said...

The name's Enemkpali, but everybody calls me Psycho. Any of you guys call me Enemkpali, and I'll kill you.

GENO:
Ooooooh.

Psycho:
You just made the list, buddy. Also, I don't like no one touching my stuff. So just keep your meathooks off. If I catch any of you guys in my stuff, I'll kill you. And I don't like nobody touching me. Any of you homos touch me, and I'll kill you.

Coach Hulka:
Lighten up, Enemkpali.

rhhardin said...

It's not so simple to avoid altercation. Altercari is a deponent verb.

It comes out of nowhere.

damikesc said...

Sorry, but this is the locker room. He didn't repay a debt to a guy who makes way less than him and then got up in the guy's face?

Yeah, he earned a punch. He should've gotten worse. He deserved several punches.

Women REALLY don't understand men. And, trust me, you don't want equality.

There is such a thing as "having it coming," but there's nothing manly about a sucker punch.

From what I understand, sources in the locker room dispute the "sucker punch" claim. Geno was a punk and got dropped. Note, if Geno was respected, no punch would've been thrown because enough guys there would've stopped it. The guys wanted Geno to take the beating.

And they signed a QB who is better than Geno, honestly, to replace him.

Original Mike said...

Brett Favre still has his Jets jersey.

Bobby said...

damikesc,

Yeah, I think I agree with you.

Five years ago, then-Rep. Eric Massa disclosed that Rahm Emanuel, in a locker room, "without even a towl wrapped around his tush, poking his finger in my chest, yelling at me because I wasn't gonna vote for the president's budget" .... the only thing I could think of then (and now) is that if it had been me, the debate was whether Rahm would have gotten a warning to get out of my face and then a punch in the nose (if he didn't comply) or a straight punch in the nose.

Achilles said...

Our society is devolving into rudeness and lack of respect for others. People are acting like complete asses because they aren't afraid of getting their ass kicked anymore. Geno Smith made a million dollars last year, stiffed a guy making minimum salary for $600, got up in this other man's face with his finger and said "What are you going to do about it." If he doesn't get his ass kicked there is something wrong with our society.

At some point we all have to grow up and stop living in mommy's basement. We are losing our culture and our will to win. A fight is not the worst thing that can happen. If you don't have people who are willing to fight you are going to end up with where we are going now, which is a nation full of cowards. Look at our current president. He capitulates in every possible way to a weaker foe and lashes out at his critics like a spoiled little shit. We need to learn how to fight again at every level.

Static Ping said...

In man's natural state, everyone deserves it.

This is why rule of law is so important. No matter how much we pretend, the natural state is never far away.

William said...

Tell that to Darren Wilson.

Humperdink said...

Good thing this occurred in the locker room as opposed to out on the street corner. No punches would have been thrown, just a gathering of spent cartridges.

And then a few hours later, on another street corner, additional spent cartridges.

traditionalguy said...

Do I sense a feeling from the commenters that lawyers are good people doing a necessary social function that allows civilization to exist???

As the Donald said,,." I would fight them for the microphone, well maybe not myself." Trump values lawyers that allow us To impose law over lawlessness.

Thanks guys.

Quaestor said...

And any average guy will tell you that once contact is initiated a fight is obligatory.

Any average guy doing a stretch for felonious assault.

Is there such a word as thugalize or thugalization, if not there should be. Makes me wonder if peaceable 5th century Britons decried the thugalization of their island since the withdrawal of the legions. If so one must note their hand-wringing did nothing to halt the precipitous decline of their society into barbarism. Instead of direct action they hired foreign thugs to check the native thugs. The end result was England, and the marginalization of the Britons into a people whose corporate name literally means "the strangers." Strangers in their own land, that's what they became.

Here endth the lesson.

William said...

If someone put their finger in my face, I would shove them back forcefully. If they were considerably bigger than me or if my next paycheck depended on not losing my cool, I might not do even that.......It's hard to see where either of these gentlemen came out ahead in this confrontation.

furious_a said...

You should see the wives get into it up in the stands.

Forget it, Jake, it's the Jets.

Dave in Tucson said...

> Blaming the victim.

You think Geno Smith is without responsibility in this situation, Althouse? Perhaps you think this was just IK Enemkpali looking around for someone to punch in the jaw, and Geno Smith happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time?

> nothing manly about a sucker punch.

There's also been some question about whether it was a sucker punch or not.

Anonymous said...

Put your hands on me in an aggressive manner and see what happens and who gets charged with what.

I don't advocate violence. I also do not advocate being the first one to be hit by a serious blow. A single blow can be deadly. I was an MP for six years, I've seen enough evidence of what can happen. Once you lay a hand on me you've crossed a line and I will put you back on the other side. I'm a big man, but if you are too big for me??? I have willing help at my fingertips.

Some people, I guess, have no personal lines that they will defend.
We used to call those people 'victims'.

Douglas Hoffer said...

Beldar - look up Clint Longley - the back up quarterback that sucker punched Staubach.

tim maguire said...

In most situations, blaming the victim is a wide-spread, perfectly acceptable response. And the reality is, most victims play a key role in their own victimization, nothing wrong with pointing that out. Except for rape. For some reason, it's wrong to tell young women that they have a lot of control over whether or not they become a rape victim.

Heartless Aztec said...

And the Professor would be wrong.

mccullough said...

When you're a Jet you're a Jet all the way
Unless you don't pay your debt

J. Farmer said...

@tim maguire:

"For some reason, it's wrong to tell young women that they have a lot of control over whether or not they become a rape victim."

Totally agree. I have waded into that debate before, and no matter how many qualifiers I pepper my comments with, it invariably received loud, unhinged responses. My standard counter example is that if I were to drive a nice car to a bad neighborhood and leave it overnight with the engine running and the keys in the ignition, I would be rightly criticized for stupid, risky behavior. But if you dare say that a woman who goes out and gets falling down drunk is putting herself at a high risk for assault, you are immediately called a "rape apologist" and a contributor to "rape culture" (whatever that is). It seems like as soon as the r-word comes up, rational thinking is immediately short-circuited.

damikesc said...

Do I sense a feeling from the commenters that lawyers are good people doing a necessary social function that allows civilization to exist???

I think a society where norms are kept forcefully and not primarily thru courts tends to be more polite. Courts should be there for the big stuff and you handle the small stuff yourself.

People knew which lines you could and couldn't cross as recently as the 40's and 50's. It took the 60's for the kids to think they could do whatever they want and people had to be nice to them.

The best tonic would've been for college admins of the 60's to sic the National Guard on more hippies on campus. A few might die but peace, assuredly, would have been maintained.

Why do mass shootings occur most often at "gun free zones"? Because the repurcussions for action aren't terribly high. You don't try to hold up a gun store for similar reasons.

Achilles said...

J. Farmer said...

"... But if you dare say that a woman who goes out and gets falling down drunk is putting herself at a high risk for assault, you are immediately called a "rape apologist" and a contributor to "rape culture" (whatever that is). It seems like as soon as the r-word comes up, rational thinking is immediately short-circuited."

Follow that up with accusing the idiot your are discussing this with that they want women to act stupidly, get raped, and be victims so there are more people to push their stupid agenda. That is when the peaceful lefties are not so peaceful.

Humperdink said...

If Geno Smith would have continued to wear the traditional "don't touch me, I'm wearing the red QB jersey" in the locker room, he'd would be masticating his food today.

readering said...

Geno Smith lucky Ikemefuna Enemkpali not a cop or he would have been shot.

J. Farmer said...

@Achilles:

"Follow that up with accusing the idiot your are discussing this with that they want women to act stupidly, get raped, and be victims so there are more people to push their stupid agenda."

I think that is a pretty pathological reading of motives. I tend to think it comes out of a more deep seated notion that women should be able to act exactly as men do and that any impediment to such behavior is a sign of structural sexism that must be rooted out. I think it is a mindset that either denies or tends to ignore that men and women differ in significant ways, not the least of which is in average physical strength. That's not sexism; it's physics.

Freeman Hunt said...

If I saw the two most mild-mannered men in the world get into a verbal altercation and one poked the other in the face, I would cringe under the assumption that blows would be next.

dbp said...

If physical contact was initiated in a confrontation, I probably would not go directly to a roundhouse--though I would feel that it is justified. I am more of a grab his hand and bend it backwards kind of guy. Which in this case might cause more problems for a QB than the punch to the face.

David said...

Sounds like the Wisconsin Supreme Court to me.

David said...

"And any average guy will tell you that once contact is initiated a fight is obligatory."

Why is why so many guys who think they are average end up getting arrested.

William said...

Roberts Rules of Order clearly states that the proper response to a finger in the face is a forceful pushback. At this pont both parties step back and raise their fists in a pugilistic manner. Then their friends intervene, and the quarrel is settled without loss of honor for either party. Alternately a couple of air punches are thrown, and again neutral parties intervene to settle the quarrel......Throwing a punch is a serious breach of decorum, He won the fight but lost the war. Plus you never know who's gong to go all Aaron Hernandez in such a situation.

RMc said...

Anyone who would willingly play for the New York Jets deserves to be punched, just on general principle.

Henry said...

ETFB wrote:

A good Christian would have turned the other face.

No one ever broke Tim Tebow's jaw.

dwick wrote:

Enemkpali was immediately released by the Jets. How was that 'getting away with' anything?

A former third-string football player and major league umpire wrote that the easiest way to stick with a team when you have no ability is to be really friendly with the starting quarterback.

That said, Rex Ryan is the NFL's Norse God of Mischief. I'm glad he's still around to give Bill Belichick fits, but still lose.

Gahrie said...

It seems like as soon as the r-word comes up, rational thinking is immediately short-circuited.

It's not the "r" word that is the problem, it is the woman's "thinking" that is the problem. Most women feel rather than think. Even Althouse seeks transcendence when she reads, rather than meaning from text.

Laslo Spatula said...

I'm confused from these comments.

Is Geno Smith a woman?

I am Laslo.

D. said...

black men are boring. they do do stupid sh*t 24/7/365

Jupiter said...

It is true, that to allow another man to poke you in the face, without taking offense, is not a recipe for winning the respect of the locker room. That said, there are many ways to respond that make it clear you are willing to fight, without actually starting one. And really, who is going to imagine that a linebacker kept his hands off a quarterback because he is physically afraid of him? It's like saying the garbageman is afraid of a garbage can.

I don't quite understand why Alphabet City hasn't been charged with a crime.

MadisonMan said...

Good, he sucked anyway

Why the past tense? He still sucks.

Original Mike said...

"Why the past tense? He still sucks."

He won't be sucking for awhile.

kcom said...

"Here endeth the lesson."

Is that a quote? From a show?

Unknown said...

What dbp said. I'm not a puncher either. I had a manager that used to take pleasure in shaking hands and inflicting pain. The 2nd time he did it to me, I used a thumb knuckle pressure move on him that literally put him on the floor. I kept my job and gained his respect.

HoodlumDoodlum said...

Achilles said... People are acting like complete asses because they aren't afraid of getting their ass kicked anymore.

I have to think that's a big part of it--it sounds like people are calling this a "sucker punch" (even though the punchee was in the puncher's face) because it should have been understood that one can't punch one's own QB no matter what. Like I pointed out on the post about the BLM interruption of Bernie Sander's speech the other day, when people don't think their actions, no matter how extreme, will result in being subjected to physical violence they're likely to behave worse. Did you see the video of the BLM lady violently screaming and gesticulating (shaking her arm and thrusting her finger into the face) at the older guy meekly trying to restore order? If he had popped her in the nose and you were on the jury at his battery trial would you vote to convict?

In the ring it's each boxer's responsibility to be on their guard at all times, whether the bell has rung or not. From a pragmatic standpoint it would seem like a good idea to keep the same idea in mind anytime you're heatedly arguing with another person, especially if you're physically intimidating them in any way.

I understand the law but I also understand that society has non-legal rules, too. Poking someone else in the face in the midst of a heated argument is against one of those rules, and if that's what happened in this case I don't think "sucker punch" is the appropriate term.

Æthelflæd said...

I gotta say that I agree with damikesc and Achilles on this one. I don't know if Geno actually provoked it, but if he did get up in his face, well...there it is. I am also one who thinks society might be more polite if people's good names and honor were still thought worthy of defending.

Drago said...

#AfricanAmericanQuarterbackJawsMatter!

Emil Blatz said...

Methinks the Professor is getting into an African American male thing that is beyond her experience, and mine for that matter. All you have to do is watch surveillance tape of an urban HS and the sudden violence that comes out of nowhere in terms of sucker punching in hallways, and elsewhere, to realize that there is something different going on here. And it is probably highly correlated with the kind of explosive power that makes an athlete useful in the NFL. Or look at the vernacular of respecting/disrespecting someone in the urban culture. My experience growing up in a white affluent suburb in the 60's and 70's involved none of this "respect" criterion. Sure, there were occasional fights, but very few. The instant-on nature of violence in urban areas, either manually inflicted or abetted by a gun, is one of those subjects that everyone knows about, but is never directly discussed. I don't expect ESPN to reach it on this matter either.

iowan2 said...

Many comenters talk about a breakdown of society. Being totally ignorant of society of a male locker room filled with alphas. I imagine things in that society haven't changed much in the last 200 years. Both players share responsibilities and both could have averted the major injury. No amount of tut tutting by the moral betters is going to change that.

Beldar said...

@ Doug H: Exactly my point! Longley -- the personification of the one-game NFL wonder -- punched Staubach not because Staubach was "up in his face," but because Staubach was defending Drew Pearson. Pearson was a three-time All Pro, four-time Cowboys offensive captain, and member of the NFL 1970s All-Decade Team. Staubach was a Heisman winner who deferred his NFL career to serve out his Naval Academy commitment in Vietnam, then went on to win two Super Bowls and make the NFL Hall of Fame.

Longley's famous for one game (Thanksgiving 1974 vs. the 'Skins) and one punch. He's the perfect poster boy for talent that lacked any semblance of discipline.

Beldar said...

Ironically, it was Pearson who caught the TD pass that gave Longley his one famous victory. Thus does God mock losers even when they win. As guard Blaine Nye said, it represented the "triumph of the uncluttered mind."

Lem said...

On the way back from the Marlins RedSox game yesterday my brother and I listened to ESPN radio where they said Geno Smith apparently said, aside from poking the finger, what are you going to do about it... or something to that effect.

ESPN commentators speculated that the sucker punch story was a way for the Jets to protect their quarterback, who, again apparently, no other player in that locker room one came to his defense.

'You get in somebody's face, somebody you owe money to, poke your finger and say "what are you going to do about it?"

J said...

Follow this sequence.Verbal altercation-Subject touches Officer in threatening manner then by FDLE use of force matrix Officer is authorized to use next level of force which includes striking weapons.Smith committed the crime of battery-Alphabet defended himself.No charges.(EXcept in a street situation Smith would be booked for the battery.)

Birkel said...

Everybody admits anonymity online leads to worse behavior, right? That is because of, it has been suggested, the low probability of immediate consequences. Right?

By the same token, a demonstration of the likelihood of immediate consequences would be likely to encourage better behavior. This is the lesson.

Geno Smith is likely to have learned very quickly.

jr565 said...

If you get in someone face put your finger on his face and push that might be suggestion that the fight is about to start. And so, if you throw the first punch it's in reaxtion to someone getting into your face.

Dr Weevil said...

Original Mike (8:22pm):

"'Why the past tense? He still sucks.'

He won't be sucking for awhile."

I'm surprised no one beat me to the obvious retort: "Except through a straw!"

mikee said...

For our next writing class exercise, write an essay comparing and contrasting this incident with Buzz Aldrin taking down a denier of his moon landing. Emphasize distinctions among the participants and between the two cases of race, economic strata, social standing, employment history and previous uses of violence. Derive a conclusion as to who did more service to humanity with their punch.

CEL said...

He wasn't a victim. He initiated the physical contact without properly preparing for his victim's response. He should not have poked a man in the face while taunting that man about being stiffed.

CEL said...

Sometimes violence is the appropriate response.