Joumana Kidd is the wife of basketball star Jason Kidd. In 2001 he was arrested for domestic abuse and on the 911 call, Joumana told the police that she had been beaten much worse before. So now, Celtics fans chant “wifebeater” whenever the Nets come to play in Boston. It’s crude and stupid, but it’s not the worst thing I’ve heard at a sports arena. So Globe writer Bob Ryan was on TV the other day and had harsh words for Joumana, saying she dressed like an exhibitionist and used her child asa TV prop. I don’t know if any of that’s true since I don’t follow basketball. But then Ryan said he’d like to smack her. Considering the history of domestic abuse, the TV host asked Ryan if he’d like to reconsider his comment and he refused.
Well, the excrement hit the oscillator. Byron Scott, coach of the Nets, wanted Ryan fired. Instead, the Globe suspended Ryan without pay for a month and forbade him from any media appearances. I suppose they were within their rights to do that. Was Ryan’s comment dumb? Yes, considering the politically correct era we live in. Sure, it’s not like he was advocating domestic abuse or violence against women in general—he was expressing his opinion he didn’t like her—but he should have known better.
But get this: Bob Ryan was suspended from work for a month and Byron Scott wants him fired for saying he wanted to smack Joumana Kidd. Meanwhile Jason Kidd actually hit her and sat out four games. I don’t hear Scott saying Kidd should be fired. I don’t see the media calling for him to be jailed. I don’t hear Nets fans defending Joumana Kidd against the actions of her husband rather than the words of a writer.
But then again, Bob Ryan is not the best player on the team. He doesn’t fill the seats, score points, and get you into the playoffs. I guess that sort of performance buys you a blind eye when you’re abusing your wife.