An unnamed NFL player is suing United Airlines, claiming the airline failed to properly respond to his complaints during a Los Angeles-to-Newark flight in February. The player alleges he was sexually harassed, assaulted, and violated by a female passenger who made unwanted advances.
Mike Francesa got ahold of the story and addressed it on his show yesterday with the type of nuance and insight one would expect from a national media personality navigating a sensitive topic in a hyper-sensitive climate.
Just kidding. He did this instead.
"When I read this story, I didn't think this was real," Francesa said. "This is an NFL player. He plays in the National Football League. He plays the most violent game that you could possibly play and he cannot protect himself against the advances of a female passenger on a United flight? What guy couldn't protect himself from the advances of a female passenger? Forget whether or not you want to protect yourself against the female, that's a different story. The point is, who couldn't?"
It's always dangerous to try to understand this brand of logic, but it seems to follow this track: the big, strong player should have simply used his brute force to thwart any unwanted sexual advances, therefore making them not count. While it's reasonable to think an NFL player would ultimately prevail in a physical battle between most male and female passengers, that's extremely not the point.
Francesa continued through laughter: "You gotta figure some kick returner is going to come out because what happens if a 320-pound, 6-foot-7 lineman comes out? I'd be fascinated to hear who the player is and I would say he's going to take quite a ribbing around the league."
The claims are either truthful or not. None of us were there so it's pretty dangerous to weigh in on their validity. But, man, that's a lot of laughter out of Big Mike!
It wouldn't have been all that jarring to hear a take like this 10 or 15 years ago on the radio. It really stands out now, though. Thank goodness @BackAftaThis is back on the case. These are the types of high-minded concepts the world was missing when Francesa's stream of consciousness was not being pumped into the ecosystem.