Obviously, the fallout from the Kane story is fascinating. However, I think it could be useful in shattering some stories and myths we tell ourselves.
The big one is "hockey players are different." No, they're not. Sorry. You know why you don't see as many athlete/criminal stories about hockey? Because there's less attention. There's less people following them to clubs, recognizing them, flashing pictures on their phones. The gossip pages tend to stay away, because no one cares about hockey players. But to suggest these guys are a different breed, that's asinine. They're rich, young kids, and those can add up to be bad combinations. They do stupid things. Mark Bell has done time. Dany Heatley killed a teammate. Joe Corvo beats his wife, so did Denis Potvin, and Bobby Hull (a crime that gets such short-shrift from sports fans it's enough to make you lose your faith in human kind). These guys are not angels, they're just people. People with freakish DNA and more money than you or I. Sure, maybe there are less of these stories in the NHL than other sports, but it's percentage points, not a wide chasm.
Another one is the portrayal of Kane as some sort of sweetheart. Please. If you've paid any attention over these two years, it was obvious that Kane was a cocky little twat (and I loved it). He's not out to take your daughter to prom. There are numerous interviews with him available anywhere about taboo subjects, such as drinking and Russian girls. Without getting too close to libel lines, I'm sure you've all heard stories about nocturnal activities here. To think Kane is some sort of homebody from Buffalo is a joke. This kid left home at 14, and has been a star everywhere he's been. He played on one of the biggest junior teams in Canada, London Knights, and was its biggest star. You think those kids don't get star treatment in those towns? He then was the #1 pick, comes here and is immediately the marquee name with the organization. What would ever lead you to believe Patrick Kane was grounded like you and I are?
But let's not beat around the bush here. Your head is in the sand if you can't detect elements of racism here. For people to compare this to Derrick Rose flashing gang signs (and some have, Mr. Morrissey) is beyond farce. Fuck, I flash gang signs when drunk. It's not a crime, and probably just a goof. Kaner has committed a felony, possibly. Reverse these incidents. If Rose was arrested for beating up a cabbie? There'd be a line of people a mile long to label him another NBA-Thug who'd rather be a 'banger. If Kaner were caught photographed flashing gang signs, we'd all think it was ironic and funny and mothers would still be handing their daughter's yearbook pic to him.
Look, I don't think Patrick Kane is a bad guy, though he is quite clearly cheap (I tend to tip more when drunk, which leads to my current financial state, but that's just me). Scotty Pippen, you've got a new friend. I think Kane has just made a horrible, horrible mistake, and should pay for it. It'll end up being a fine, community service, a settlement with the cabbie, and possibly a 3-5 game suspension. But stop defending him, stop defending hockey players. It's futile.
Update: All right, maybe he isn't cheap