OK. It's not like he's really in jail or anything. But I have to say, I don't really understand what was so offensive about his remarks.
Background: Zeise was a regular contributor on KDKA's Sunday Sports Showdown. The panelists were discussing Michael Vick's dog-fighting disaster. Zeise said:
"It's really a sad day in this country when somehow ... Michael Vick would have been better off raping a woman if you look at the outcry of what happened. Had he done that, he probably would have been suspended for four games and he'd be back on the field. But because this has become a political issue, all of a sudden the commissioner has lost his stomach for it."
KDKA has dumped Zeise from the show because of the remarks. And apologized about 30 times to viewers. I didn't see the show. But... I don't get it. He didn't say, "Rape is nice." He didn't say "I run a dogfighting ring, too." He didn't say, "I like to rape dogs that fight."
What he said is that "It's a sad day..." Why? Because in this country today, it appears that running a dogfighting ring appears to get you in more trouble than raping a woman. At least with the sanctioning bodies of professional sports.
Is there anything to support this? Well, Mike Tyson is still boxing. At least I think he is. And if you look at a lot of other athletes, you will see a lot of them--who have committed violent crimes against people--still on the field.
So. I am not sure that, after careful analysis, I think the remark is rock solid. But is it so far beyond the bounds that it gets you tossed? I don't think so. It was provocative, sure. In the end, though, wasn't it provocative in a good way? Isn't it worth exploring Vick's "punishment" in light of what other athletes have gotten away with?
For the record, I think Vick is quite likely a creep. And I have no problem with the NFL's maneuvers here. But I am willing to hear Zeise's side. And if I were assembling a panel or a show to discuss the matter, he'd be the first person I called.
Am I missing something here? Am I misreading it in some way? Is it offensive in a way I can't see?