Jackie Speier, U.S. Representative from California, sent a letter to NASCAR and Stewart-Haas Racing recently, calling for the suspension of Kurt Busch amid a domestic abuse allegation made against him by ex-girlfriend, Patricia Driscoll.
I, by no means, want to make light the crime of domestic violence. It’s a serious crime and anyone guilty of said crime should be held accountable and punished for it.
The issue I have with Speier’s adamant request for Busch’s suspension is this: the abuse allegation is just that, an allegation. Nothing in that regard has been proven. To my knowledge, at this point, it’s all he said/she said. Who’s to say Driscoll’s story is the truth? Maybe she’s telling the truth; maybe she’s not. On the same token, maybe Busch is the honest one here. Do we really know at this point?
That being said, would it be right for Busch to be suspended just for being accused of something, even if not guilty? Of course not! Again, I’m not saying he’s not guilty. He may be; he may not be. I don’t know, and I’m betting Speier doesn’t, either.
Here is an excerpt from her letter, published by SI.com:
“But despite the severity of the criminal allegations against Mr. Busch, I am disappointed to see that NASCAR and Stewart-Haas Racing have not taken any action. Your response to these serious allegations has been totally inadequate.”
Again, I’ll point out the word, “allegations.” Does Speier realize that being a NASCAR driver is Busch’s occupation, i.e. livelihood? How would she feel if she lost her position as a U.S. Representative all because one day some guy rolled out of bed and decided it would be fun to accuse her of some random crime?
Once again, I’m not saying he’s innocent, but he may NOT be guilty. Again, we don’t really know at this point.
Speier went on to write:
“… adopt a policy going forward in all domestic violence cases to suspend drivers until criminal proceedings end or there is a clear lack of evidence.”
Suspending drivers until criminal proceedings end? Whatever happened to “innocent until proven guilty?” Sounds like Speier wants to twist it around to, “guilty until proven innocent.” Sorry, Ms. Speier, it’s not supposed to work that way.
Again, I’m not making light of domestic violence. And again, I consider domestic violence to be a serious crime for which a violator should be severely punished. I also believe that a person should NOT be punished based on allegations alone.
Also, again, I’m not saying Driscoll is lying, or that Busch is, for that matter. Someone is, obviously, but do we really know which one? Until then, is it really fair to punish Busch because there’s a chance he may have assaulted someone? I don’t think so.
There have been comparisons to the Ray Rice/NFL issue, but I see a big difference between the two. Wasn’t there video evidence of the Rice situation? I’m pretty sure I remember seeing it on TV.