Alex Morgan's ejection from Epcot: Not a big deal, not not newsworthy

Let’s first get rid of the notion that male athletes or public figures would not make the news if they were tossed from a bar — let alone tossed from Epcot Center, where hundreds of people may have seen the incident — or some similar things:

http://www.nydailynews.com/sports/more-sports/ric-flair-thrown-bar-acting-moron-article-1.3043398

https://www.sbnation.com/college-football/2017/3/31/15144612/deshaun-watson-kicked-out-tuscaloosa-bar-innisfree

http://www.azcentral.com/story/news/local/scottsdale/2017/04/06/scottsdale-police-cardinals-wide-receiver-arrested-after-dispute-over-missing-hat-marquis-bundy/100133666/

https://sports.yahoo.com/blogs/nfl-shutdown-corner/jaguars-corner-dwayne-gratz-arrested-after-trying-to-pay-with-bubble-gum-201406918.html

(Harry Potter? Nooooooo!)
https://jezebel.com/5968104/two-years-sober-daniel-radcliffe-pounds-jaeger-gets-tossed-from-bar

http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2012-05-17/sports/chi-notre-dame-wr-daniels-cited-for-underage-drinking-20120516_1_underage-drinking-davaris-daniels-underage-party

http://www.indystar.com/story/sports/college/indiana/2015/08/25/two-indiana-basketball-players-cited-illegal-consumption-alcohol/32285469/

http://www.desmoinesregister.com/story/sports/college/iowa-state/football/2015/09/27/isu-football-player-cited-alcohol-violatioon/72925696/

http://www.soccertimes.com/mls/2004/sep21.htm?CMP=LEC-50Y6D3931797

http://articles.latimes.com/2001/feb/05/sports/sp-21464

https://www.sde.co.ke/thenairobian/article/2000173751/one-for-the-road-drunk-senior-kenyan-politician-pees-on-himself-in-broad-daylight

In fact, see how this story was reported in the UK, which might not know Alex Morgan as well as Americans do and instead focused on “Ex Derby County star Giles Barnes.”

You may note that a couple of the players listed above were arrested. I’d suggest reading the stories and asking if a white woman would be arrested for the same crimes. (Yes, Giles Barnes, who was escorted from Epcot along with Morgan and Donny Toia, is Jamaican/English. Just a hunch, and I do have a relative who works elsewhere in the Disney megaplex, but I think Epcot security might be a little less arrest-happy than a lot of police officers in this country.)

Notice one other thing from this NFL arrest database: Many players arrested on DUI charges were immediately released. Not so in women’s soccer, where we have seen a couple of players arrested and quickly forgiven.

So is Alex Morgan’s ejection from Epcot newsworthy, bearing in mind the precedent in other sports? Yes.

Would a male soccer player of note — say, Michael Bradley or Jozy Altidore — get the same sort of treatment? Probably. The fact that Morgan is also a published children’s author might make her a little more noteworthy than Bradley or Altidore, as might the fact that Morgan has won international championships. Maybe we should be comparing with Neymar or someone, and I think it’s fair to say Neymar would make headlines if he got tossed out of Epcot.

Is Morgan’s offense worthy of suspension? No. Other internal punishment? Meh.

Would I expect Portland fans to bring it up this weekend, just as college sports fans would pounce all over a player who got in a mild bit of trouble? Yes.

 

 

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