New England–Leaving aside the fact that I’m tired of listening to New England Patriots fans hype their team and whine about their Super Bowl loss, I think the RADAR press release below has some good things to say.
I don’t claim to know what happened between Patriots star wide receiver Randy Moss and Rachelle Washington, who filed a domestic violence restraining order against him. However, the fact that she apparently was having financial problems and allegedly “demanded a $500,000 payment” and “threatened to reveal ‘lots of dirt’ about Moss if the money was not paid” makes one suspicious. (Moss is pictured above making a catch for the Patriots against the Buffalo Bills.)
Just as the New England Patriots were looking to cap off a perfect season, Patriots wide receiver Randy Moss was hit with a claim of “serious injury.” The allegation made by Rachelle Washington over an alleged altercation on January 6, 2008.
Washington is an old paramour of Moss’s who was unemployed and behind in her rent payments. Reports suggest that Washington had a soft-tissue injury to her finger, but how it occurred remains a mystery. Hospital X-rays were negative.
A temporary restraining order was quickly entered against Moss. According to Moss’ agent, attorney David K. McGill demanded a $500,000 payment and threatened to reveal “lots of dirt” about Moss if the money was not paid by January 11th. McGill has refused interviews and has not explained the specifics of the allegations.
Jane Doe, Inc., the Massachusetts Coalition Against Domestic Violence, demanded the benching of Randy Moss for the AFC Championship game, pending a January 28th hearing. Jane Doe claimed, without evidence, that this is the “common protocol” used by employers. The January 28th hearing was postponed by agreement of the parties until March.
In a January 17th interview, a distraught Moss said the woman was hurt by accident and called the allegation “false.”
According to the Boston Globe, Moss was “mad at this situation of extortion.” He claimed Washington was seeking “six figures” to keep the alleged battery “hushed.”
For the season, Moss easily led the Patriots with 1,493 yards and an average of 15.2 yards per pass. But the pressure on Moss appeared to have caused a profound effect on his game performance.
For the AFC championship, “Randy Moss was a non-factor for the second straight game and the highest-scoring team in NFL history sputtered all afternoon,” according to the Associated Press report.
Two weeks later, Moss headed to Super Bowl XLII with a “black cloud” hanging over his head:
“I brought it to Coach and said, ‘Look, Coach, I’m being threatened to do something that I have no idea of what I need to be doing.'”
During the Super Bowl, Moss caught only one pass. The stunned Patriots lost 17-14 to the New York Giants.
Had Moss not been distracted by the allegation of partner violence, Super Bowl XLII might well have turned out differently.
Sports fans must call for sensible reforms of domestic violence laws. We cannot permit extortion and trial-by-rumor to destroy the careers of athletes and to sway the outcomes of games.
We urge you to call your local radio sports shows and write letters to your local newspapers emphasizing that:
There is no evidence to date that Randy Moss abused Rachelle Washington.
The combination of pressures on Randy Moss impaired his focus and playability for Super Bowl XLII.
The outcome of Super Bowl XLII may have been thrown by the domestic violence industry.