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The aftermath of the Patrick Kane case is one of ruin. Trust ruined. Faith in equity – and frequently in humanity, given the toxic nature of the debate over the Chicago Blackhawks and their star’s actions – ruined. Lives forever changed.
Because criminal investigations into the alleged rape of a 21-year-old woman have regrettably morphed into some twisted sport on social media, someone was going to spike the football when a decision to charge or not to charge was rendered. And thus we witnessed the nadir of KanerGate supporters after Erie County’s decision not to charge Kane was rendered: Using the alleged victim’s real name to open a parody Twitter account mocking her and the case.
Doxing as low-brow comedy. Welcome to 2015.
Erie County District Attorney Frank A. Sedita spiked the ball, too. “This so-called ‘case,’” he wrote in his statement on the case. Perhaps he felt he needed to be emphatic. But yeah, no way women who already feel they’re staring at obstacles atop fortified castle walls atop mountains when contemplating whether to report a sexual assault aren’t completely discouraged by that flippancy...
I don’t have much more to say about the Kane investigation than I’ve written and podcasted. He shouldn’t have been at Chicago Blackhawks training camp, no matter what revisionist historians will argue. It’s still most important for this team and this league to actually “respect the process” and respect the women in their fan bases who found this soft-focus advocacy of a player being investigated for rape to be unconscionable. And still do.
Like I said, this case was fraught with ruin. And yet out of those ruins rose something inspiring.
It was like a pane of soundproof glass being shattered, with thousands of previously muted voices suddenly echoing through the hockey world, speaking out in while knowing that the backlash was going to look like.
I read perhaps 100 more posts about the Kane case than I wrote in the last three months. My perspective is limited; many of these pieces expanded it. My viewpoint doesn’t come from a place of pain; many of these pieces explained, in detail, how that felt. Nothing in this case made me question my identity as a fan; many of these pieces explored that topic with raw honesty.
Pieces like these:
- Threats. Vitriol. Hate. Ugly truth about women in sports and social media by Julie DiCaro, Sports Illustrated (It goes without saying, but I will anyway: DiCaro was an absolute revelation during this saga, and a must-read.)
- How NOT To Talk About The Patrick Kane Rape Allegations also by DiCaro, CBS Chicago
- The Reasonable Fan’s Dilemma About How to Cheer For The Chicago Blackhawks by Sarah Spain, espnW
- Why I choose to believe accusers by Phyllis Kessel, Pension Plan Puppets
- Apologize? The Patrick Kane case leaves a trail of sorry by Tim Baffoe, Sports Illustrated (One of those perfectly conceived and executed essays that renders anything you might attempt to write on the issue pointless.)
- Patrick Kane Is Not Your Friend also by Tim Baffoe, CBS Chicago
- Compromising with the NHL by Claire Austin, Victory Press
- In Dismissing Patrick Kane Sexual Assault Case, District Attorney Suggests Accuser Not Believable by Eric Macramalla, Forbes (Eric did some great no-frills reporting on the case.)
- As Patrick Kane case blows up, toxicity and ignorance hijack discussion by Sean Gentille, Sporting News
- When will the NHL stop letting us down? by Clark Aitken, Pension Plan Puppets
- On a Personal Note by Jen LC
- Fans unite through #RaiseTheBanner, #NotMyNHL to raise awareness of sexual assault by Jen Neale, Puck Daddy
- Tim Graham interview on Sports-Casters podcast – With the Buffalo News reporter. I listened to this last night, and it’s a very balanced summation of the investigation.
- Hockey journalists remain ignorant of women's issues by Emily Wang, Pension Plan Puppets
- Court of law trumps court of public opinion in Kane case by John Kass, Chicago Tribune
- The Patrick Kane Situation Takes a Dark Turn in Buffalo by Katie Baker, Grantland
- Mark of Kane left by public’s rush to judgment by Rosie DiManno
- The Gary Bettman “Take violence against women seriously” a petition by Melissa Geschwind
- The Buffalo News’ Irresponsible Journalism by Sports Media Guy
- Patrick Kane absolved, but only time will tell if he learned anything by Rick Telander, Sun Times
- Patrick Kane Wins Again by Alan Bedenko, Daily Public
- The Patrick Kane case shows how much power fans wield in the way athlete investigations are handled by Sarah Connors, Katie Esmonde, Achariya Rezak, Emily Wang & Ari Yanover, SB Nation
If there are any we missed, hit us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Read these. Understand them. Agree or disagree with them. Just know that the next time this happens, they’ll be amplified and greater in number than ever before.
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Greg Wyshynski is a writer for Yahoo Sports. Contact him at email@example.com or find him on Twitter. His book, TAKE YOUR EYE OFF THE PUCK, is available on Amazon and wherever books are sold.