Today, ex-NFL star Darren Sharper was sentenced to at least nine years in prison for the role he played in a string of sexual assaults that occurred in several states. Of course, the nine years is a bit of a slap on the wrist, but it also pretty much ensures Sharper, a six-time All-Pro and one of the greatest safeties in NFL history, will be remembered as a rapist.
Unfortunately, several other notable folks have committed pretty heinous acts, and it seems as if their transgressions are entirely forgotten. Well, I guess I’ll take that as my cue to remind everyone that:
Eric Clapton hates everyone who isn’t white
Eric Clapton, for all intents and purposes, is one of the most influential musicians of all time, with some of his works among the most important contributions to rock and roll as a genre. Rolling Stone has recognized him as one of the greatest guitarists in history, and several of his songs have been included in many “best of” lists.
Clapton was also profoundly racist. During a concert in 1976, Clapton took the opportunity between songs to candidly discuss his feelings regarding immigration and to give his support for Enoch Powell, a very, *ahem* “controversial” figure in his own right. A visibly intoxicated Clapton went on to claim that he’s “into racism” and “England is a white country and black wogs or coons aren’t allowed in….keep England white!” He also stated, “we need to make it clear they aren’t welcome.”
This was 1976, and if you’re into geopolitics you’re probably aware that the Muslim immigration in European countries is a pretty divisive issue (think Mexican immigration here). In fact, the shootings in Oslo several years ago were committed by a man who was said to be protesting the acceptance of Middle Eastern or Asian immigrants into “white” countries like Norway. So, Clapton saying “we need to make it clear they aren’t welcome” isn’t exactly a drunken stupor as much as a disturbing morbid suggestion. Of course, Clapton has recanted part of his rant, stating he’s not racist but still supports Powell’s politics, although since the term “wog” is considered derogatory, it doesn’t seem as if his rant came from a place of light-hearted, albeit dark humor.
Winston Churchill supported gassing the “uncivilized”
There is perhaps no greater symbol of modern English ideals than Winston Churchill’s wrinkled mug. He was brash, blunt, opinionated, and tough; all qualities which made him the perfect person to guide Great Britain through World War II. Although his politics were sometimes called into question and his popularity waned in his later years, he’s still remembered (at least in America) as one of the good guys who helped steer the Allied ship in the right direction to secure a victory in the second World War.
He also made a comment that was dangerously close to being Nazi-ish; the worst “ish” you can be. Let’s backtrack to 1920 during the Iraqi revolt against Great Britain: You see, Britain was having a great deal of trouble with those pesky Iraqi’s and their revolt, so they (allegedly) used tear gas to qualm the uprising. Churchill, apparently, fully supported this notion stating “I am strongly in favor of using poisonous gas against uncivilized tribes” which is the perfect example of a sentence that gets progressively more disturbing as you read.
Today, the use of gases in this sense would be considered chemical warfare, which is actually outlawed by the Geneva Convention. So in a rule book containing the appropriate ways to kill a sworn, hated enemy, even belligerents can agree poisonous gas is too cruel to use on foes. And let’s not forget the guys Churchill was fighting in the 1940’s; the Nazi regime utilized poisonous gases in their death camps on the way to the extermination of over 11 million people.
Chris Berman flips out on his crew
If there’s a sportscaster who possess the instant national recognition of Chris Berman, their name is escaping me. Berman has a one of a kind voice that just seems perfect for sports and he has a proclivity for adding hilarious and appropriate catch phrases to sports highlights. And to top it all off, he has the demeanor of your single uncle or best friend’s dad; an easy-going everyman who just enjoys talking about sports.
Unless, of course, you screw with his broadcast.
It’s worth remembering the on-air personas portrayed by television personalities are tailor-made to apply to a massive audience. When Michael Irvin or Keyshawn Johnson say they are “mad as heck” they are uttering that phrase with such disdain and unorganic enthusiasm you can usually see them visibly squirm. Ray Lewis killed a guy and had to pretend to be offended when he found out about Ray Rice Mike Tyson-ing his wife in an elevator and Warren Sapp was employed FOR YEARS by the NFL Network, doing game analysis by day and beating up prostitutes by night like a sexist Batman. Chris Berman is a professional, and although he comes off as a nice guy, sometimes he has bad moments behind the camera.
In 1998 during a segment, someone had the audacity to accidentally walk in front of the teleprompter during Berman’s monologue. Once the commercial break hit, it was on. Herman exploded on his colleagues unleashing a plethora of unsightly language, put-downs, idle threats, and neck sweat. He belittled his crew by questioning their qualifications, their ability to conceptualize thoughts, and even took the Lord’s name in vain several times. ESPN (his employer) has denounced his actions, but hey, they happened off camera, so it’s not really their problem.
Charles Dickens was pretty much the perfect deadbeat dad
Charles Dickens is a literary icon, with works such as Oliver Twist, Great Expectations, and the Tale of Two Cities residing in the annals of some of the greatest books every written. He was a master story-teller who utilized satire, fiction, realism, or free writing within his narratives and he went on to influence wave after wave of writers. Dickens was also, apparently, extremely fertile, as he injected his female companion (more on that later) with the seed of 10 offspring.
Unfortunately for Dickens, he wasn’t really interested in being a “family man”, which is a complication which becomes exponentially more difficult when 10 children are tossed into the fray. By all accounts, Dickens was an overly harsh disciplinarian who lacked a complete interest and inability in communicating with his children. The two factions harbored mutual resentment until Dickens ran away with a young actress (27 years his junior) and then died. Not, like, right away, but he died. He did outlive one of his sons, but didn’t bother to send a letter of condolence, much less attend the funeral. After leaving his family, he was said to have sent two or three letters to his kin, and after his death willed some money to two of his nine remaining children and a yearly stipend of $600 to his wife.
Mark Wahlberg was a dangerous, maniacal bully
Mark Wahlberg, at this point in his career, as achieved a level of fame and mass appeal so widespread both your six-year-old niece and 80-year old grandmother are aware of who Marky Mark is. In fact, Wahlberg seemed to come from nowhere in the 90’s as an underwear model turned musician turned actor, and now Wahlberg is a well-respected, Academy Award-nominated powerhouse who serves as a good example of how the modern male should carry himself. You know, expect for the fact he throws rocks at black kids and almost beat a Vietnamese man to death.
At the ripe age of 15 when most kids are throwing rocks at moving cars, Wahlberg was doing the same thing, except the cars were black kids and instead of innocent laughter he was hurling out horrible racial slurs. But Wahlberg is 43 now, so a mistake like that is really relatively benign, provided he’s learned from his mistakes, of course.
However, one year later Wahlberg took his act from “stupid kid” to “mentally disturbed” adult, as he committed an unprovoked assault of a Vietnamese man in Boston. Using a stick, Wahlberg beat this man to literally within inches of his life, and he’s pretty lucky he didn’t kill him since he referred to him as a “slanty eyed-gook”, so if this man would’ve passed away it’s likely Marky Mark would’ve been hit with a hate crime on top of a first degree murder charge. Instead, Wahlberg was charged with attempted murder and went on to serve a long, harrowing, thought-provoking, soul-searching 45- day jail sentence. Apparently you can get way with anything if you’re under 18.
This was fun; I think I’ll revisit this topic another time. As long as there’s famous people, they are likely doing horrible things that we ultimately forget.