December 4, 2012

Bill Nemitz: Save tears for Belcher's victims

By Bill Nemitz

(Continued from page 1)

"I haven't done it yet," Wing replied. "I've still got to think about it."

But this much Wing already knows: Our culture -- be it in sports, business, whatever -- contains pockets of "hyper-masculinity" that teach men "they not only have the right to be in control, but they should be in control of all things at all times.

"And when things start to spin out of control -- and it could be a relationship or anything else -- a lot of men have been taught that they need to get that (person) back in control. And they often use violence to do that because it's effective," he said.

Add to that, Wing continued, the age-old notion among some men that they are "somehow superior" to women and thus have "permission" to resort to violence when a wife or girlfriend displeases them.

Such thinking couldn't be more wrongheaded. And more men need to say so.

Noted Wing: "When men get angry about this and start talking to other men about it, that has an impact."

There is, no doubt, more than enough grief to go around -- two young adults are dead and a 3-month-old girl is without parents. Thus it was impossible to watch UMaine football coach Jack Cosgrove struggling to compose himself before the TV cameras Saturday without feeling genuine compassion for a man who thought he knew one of his best players inside-out -- and apparently didn't.

But to commingle tears for Belcher with those for Kasandra Perkins is to ignore a fundamental difference between the two: One killed, not once but twice. The other only died.

"People who are close to (Belcher) are going to, of course, mourn his death," Wing agreed. "But that shouldn't be a path to not holding him and other men accountable when they hurt and murder women."

That might start with the two photos of Belcher, one in color, the other black-and-white, that hang in a hallway just off his old football locker room.

Press Herald Staff Writer Glenn Jordan noticed them during his visit to Orono on Saturday -- they're part of a motivational, frozen-in-time tribute to players who over the years have done the University of Maine proud.

Belcher's can't come down soon enough.


Columnist Bill Nemitz can be contacted at 791-6323 or at:


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