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The Buffalo Bills signing ex-wrestler Gable Steveson reeks of hypocrisy and tone-deafness

The Buffalo Bills signed Olympic gold medalist and former WWE superstar Gable Steveson to a contract on Friday, and they should be ashamed of themselves for doing so.

Back in June 2019, Steveson and another former Minnesota wrestler, Dylan Martinez, were arrested after a woman reported that she was raped by the two men and went to the hospital for treatment.

Unfortunately at the time, there was a loophole in Minnesota law that said a person could not be charged for sexual assault or rape if the alleged victim was willingly intoxicated, so Steveson and Martinez faced no punishment.

The state of Minnesota must have realized how awful that law was, because they changed it in 2021.

Reps. Kelly Moller, DFL-Shoreview, and Marion O’Neill, R-Maple Lake, had drafted legislation to update that law even before high court ruled. It was the product of two years of study by a sex crime statutory reform working group created by the 2019 Legislature.

“Victims who are intoxicated to a degree that they are unable to give consent are entitled to justice,” Moller said last spring when she introduced the bill. Sen. David Senjem, R-Rochester, was the chief Senate sponsor.

Both wrestlers faced suspension following their arrests, but once the case was dismissed, they were immediately allowed to resume activities with the Minnesota wrestling program. Two years later, in August 2021, he won an Olympic gold medal.

The Buffalo Bills have unfortunately found themselves in multiple cases of players dealing with rape accusations. Punter Matt Araiza was accused of being involved in a gang rape of a minor while attending San Diego State. The Bills cut him almost immediately after the accusation. And while at the time they were applauded for acting fast and releasing a player accused of something so heinous, Araiza, though, was cleared of having anything to do with the alleged gang rape of the woman. The Kansas City Chiefs eventually signed the free agent punter.

The Bills signing Steveson reeks of hypocrisy, more or less. Again, releasing Araiza at the time felt like the smartest thing to do from an organizational standpoint. They didn’t know what would come from the case but wanted to make a stand and statement that behavior of that kind wouldn’t be tolerated. All of that now goes out the window and rings hollow.

Plus, last season Bills edge rusher Von Miller was arrested in Texas after allegedly choking his pregnant girlfriend during the team’s bye week, and was allowed to play the rest of the season without any sort of punishment. Miller spoke on the allegations later on, claiming they were “100 percent false.”

And this isn’t just a Buffalo Bills issue, it’s an NFL issue. The league clearly doesn’t care about what players do off the field when it comes to harming women. Gamble on sports? Immediate one-year suspension. Accused of sexually assaulting a woman and get away with it? Welcome aboard, sign here. See you at mandatory minicamp.

The NFL is the only place where if you stand up against racial injustices and dare to kneel for the national anthem, the league will see to it that you never play a snap on its grounds ever again while also rewarding someone who was accused of two dozen counts of sexual misconduct with a fully guaranteed $230 million contract.

Football is a tremendous sport. The NFL is largely filled with good and decent people whose quality actions unfortunately don’t always get seen, nor do they get the attention they deserve. And it’s also unfortunate on days like this when we’re reminded of how ugly and crummy the NFL, and professional sports as a whole, can truly be.

Story originally appeared on Touchdown Wire