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NPO publishes blog articles to inform and to stimulate conversation about issues of importance to NPO's mission.  All blog articles express the opinions of the authors as individuals and do not necessarily reflect the views of National Parents Organization, its Board of Directors, or its executives.  

Fort Lauderdale, Florida--According to news reports: This morning, the Patriots" star wide receiver Randy Moss has been the recipient of a restraining order filed by a Broward County, Florida woman who has claimed dating violence. He is required to stay 500 feet from her and cannot use or possess firearms. He allegedly caused the woman serious injury and then refused to allow her to seek medical attention. At this point nothing more is known. Is this based on a real incident, or is it a shake-down for money, or is it revenge, or publicity-seeking, or what? Moss has several strikes against him in the court of public opinion: he is male, he is black and he is an athlete. The public has been conditioned to profile people like Moss as perps. Just like Ben Coates, a black Patriots star player, a tight end, I believe, whom I wrote about seven or eight years ago. Coates was brought up on criminal charges for alleged assault and battery of his girlfriend. He was acquitted by a jury when testimony revealed that he had ended his relationship with the woman several months earlier, that she came uninvited to HIS house at night, at which time he had another female guest, that he would not let her in, that she pounded on his car and dented it, and that he asked her calmly to stop, never touching her. Someone called the police, and they, of course, arrested HIM. The icing on the cake: an auto salesman testified that the woman had been shopping for a luxury car a few days earlier and had assured him that she would soon have a big pile of money. In other words, she was shaking Coates down for money, and when he refused, she pulled her domestic violence stunt. By all reports, Moss is a very hard-working player and is totally focused on winning a Super Bowl ring. With the arduous schedule of NFL players, it is hard to figure out when Moss would have had time recently for dating in Florida. At the very least, this could be a distraction to Moss at a critical time. At worst, he has misbehaved in ways that are unacceptable. What do you think the odds are?  50/50?    70/30 in favor of the allegation?  It is hard, even for those of us who know how many false restraining orders there are, to shake the effects of the overblown and downright lying claims in the media about domestic violence. On the one hand, wealthy young celebrity athletes are sitting ducks for accusations of this type. On the other hand, domestic violence is, of course, a real problem with real victims. Tell me what you think the odds are.  Then we will watch.

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