Celebrity athletes are getting themselves embroiled in scandal younger and younger these days, like New England Patriots Brandon Spikes. Spikes is getting set to enter his rookie year, and he’s already making waves. According to reports from CBS News, there is a video of Spikes “on the online video chatting site Chatroulette.com.” Chatroulette.com is a website where users are connected to other users through webcams “to a random succession of strangers.” The rub comes that whatever you happen to be doing on your webcam — picking your nose, tweezing your armpits, or giving or receiving oral sex — that’s what the webcam sees.
So of course, just as the season’s about to get underway, some old, tawdry video of Brandon Spikes surfaces. The timing of this video’s release is interesting and, while the NFL has taken a “zero-tolerance” policy against behavior like that (“conduct detrimental to the integrity of and public confidence in the National Football League”), there are countless examples of similar situations in the NFL where the players get a bye and the world keeps on spinning.
Who doesn’t remember Mark Chmura? Chmura was, at the time, maybe winding down his professional football career with the Green Bay Packers anyway; it didn’t help that Chmura went out to a senior post-prom party with the babysitter of his two small kids. Chmura was accused of sexually assaulting this 17-year-old girl, who was known to be a part of a group known as the “Sexy Bitches.” The stone seemed written on the wall for this guy: he was there and he never denied being there; Mark Chmura was toast. He could have faced 40 years in jail for the alleged crimes of sexually assaulting a 17-year-old girl.
But apparently, in Wisconsin and in the NFL, the forgiving hands are often outstretched. A 12-member jury acquitted him, and he walked out of the joint a free man. At the time, Chmura had planned on playing again; he never did, though. Still, 10 years after the fact, it’s been noted that Chmura was recently inducted into the Packers’ Hall of Fame (he was a multiple-time Pro Bowl player).
While Brandon Spikes isn’t at the end of his career as Chmura ended up being, Spikes still could turn things around. If Spikes is able to cast reasonable doubt over the relevance of this tape, if he’s able to make it through a press junket and if he plays good football, then he could actually end up being a darling of the Patriots team.
While the endgame remains cloudy for Spikes, it does stand to reason that his small, dated scandal will soon be eclipsed by some other, larger scandal and all will be forgiven.