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April 17, 2004
But If He'd Tried It On Ice, He'd Only Get a 5-Minute Penalty

Fox News reports today on the arrest of St. Louis Blues' center Mike Danton on suspricion of conspiracy to murder, in a story where the subtext seems to speak louder than the story:

A center for the St. Louis Blues was arrested Friday in an alleged scheme to kill an acquaintance he feared could ruin his career, the FBI said. Mike Danton, 23, was arrested at the airport in San Jose, Calif., after the Blues were knocked out of the NHL playoffs in a loss to the San Jose Sharks on Thursday.

According to a criminal complaint filed in federal court in Illinois, Danton told a female friend that a hitman from Canada was coming to kill him and asked the woman if she knew someone who would kill the person for $10,000. The woman, identified as Katie Wolfmeyer, passed his call to another man, described in the complaint as a "cooperating witness."

For some reason, people seem perfectly willing to believe that hitmen crawl out of the woodwork to murder people every day, and Ms. Wolfmeyer (who is only 19) belongs to that group of the perpetually naive. She may not be very happy to learn that the "hitman" was, in fact, an acquaintance of Danton's, and perhaps more:

The complaint alleges that Danton actually was trying to kill a male acquaintance after an argument Tuesday in which the two fought over Danton's "promiscuity and use of alcohol." The complaint said Danton feared the acquaintance, who is not named, would talk to St. Louis Blues management and ruin Danton's career.

In a telephone call recorded by authorities, the acquaintance asked why Danton wanted to kill him. According to the complaint, Danton broke down and sobbed, and explained that he ordered the killing because he "felt the acquaintance was going to leave him."

The FBI and Fox take care to make this as opaque as possible, but I think we can all understand what happened to Danton. At some point, sports leagues will need to grow up and face the fact that sexual diversity exists in all areas of life. Until that happens, we will continue to see athletes destroy themeselves and others to keep what should be foolish secrets. Quite frankly, I could care less with whom a quarterback, a tennis player, or a wingman spends his/her time off the field/court/rink; all I care about when I'm watching sports is whether the game is good and my team wins. Yes, yes, I'm aware that homosexuality is rejected in the Bible; lots of things are rejected in the Bible, including the unilateral breaking of contracts and working on the Sabbath, and those don't seem to get people too energized when applied to professional or college athletes.

I'm not asking professional sports leagues to promote homosexuality, but I think we need to question the culture of the lockerroom when an athlete would rather kill someone than to be outed to management.

Sphere It Digg! View blog reactions
Posted by Ed Morrissey at April 17, 2004 9:47 AM

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