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Archive for January 9, 2023

Jan. 9, 2023 — How not to respond

What do a top-line baseball pitcher, a soccer coach coming off a World Cup, and a college basketball coach have in common?

These folks have been involved in domestic violence situations which have come to a head in recent days. All three are no longer in their previous circumstances, but all have somewhat optimistic prospects for their futures.

Trevor Bauer, at one time, may have been the finest pitcher in baseball. He was the National League Cy Young Award-winner for the 2020 COVID season, which helped him garner a three-year, $102-million contract. But five months after the contract was signed, he was suspended by the Dodgers because of accusations of sexual assault and sodomy. The first accusation, which came in June 2021, led to other women coming forward telling their tales of abuse. Bauer has not thrown a pitch since July 2021, and was designated for assignment by the Dodgers three days ago. It’s expected he will be released and can be signed by another major league team.

Chris Beard, the head coach of the Texas men’s basketball team, was also at the top of his game, having taken Texas Tech to the 2019 NCAA Division I championship game, then signed a lucrative contract to coach the Longhorns. He was, however, fired by the university last week, barely a month after felony domestic violence charges were filed. He is accused of choking and biting his fiancee. As in the case with Bauer, it’s not known what his future plans could be, given the competitive nature of coaching and his track record;

Gregg Berhalter is the head coach of the U.S. men’s national soccer team. In the last few days, a telenovela-esque narrative has come into light where the father of U.S. teamer Gio Reyna allegedly had communications with investigators with U.S. Soccer over a domestic violence episode some three decades ago where Berhalter kicked his date, Rosalind Santana, after an argument.

As it turns out, Santana married Berhalter. Santana was a teammate of Danielle Ryan, who eventually married Claudio Reyna, the father of Gio Reyna, who played less than an hour in the U.S. team’s four matches at the FIFA World Cup in Qatar.

Berhalter, as it turns out, is out of contract with the United States. And it’s likely that he will remain so for a period of time. But given what he was able to do with what had been a moribund side, he will likely be a candidate for a number of coaching positions around the world.

It’s amazing, given the activism regarding the treatment of women in the workplace, the media, and in the creative space, that Bauer, Beard, and Berhalter have not received nearly the kind of scrutiny that the likes of Harvey Weinstein and more than 200 other powerful men have since the start of the “Me Too” movement.

The regrettable thing is that many men have not learned their lesson. But there are others who have received punishments which may become the gold standard. More on that tomorrow.