Two years ago, the Seahawks made defensive end Frank Clark a second-round draft pick despite a domestic violence that occurred incident while in college at Michigan. The Seahawks presumably didn’t like being criticized for it then. And Clark presumably doesn’t appreciate being reminded of it now.
Clark, apparently miffed because Natalie Weiner of Bleacher Report linked a two-year-old article regarding Clark’s domestic violence arrest to a recent story about Greg Hardy, reacted to Weiner via Twitter.
“People like you don’t have long careers in your field,” Clark said in the message directed at Weiner, via ESPN.com. “I have a job for you cleaning my fish tanks when that lil job is ova.”
Clark, who later deleted the tweet and made the perfunctory apology to “anyone who felt offended by my tweet,” got things flipped around a bit, frankly. Careers in the media can last for decades; long careers are much more of a rarity for football players.
But the ironic inaccuracy of Clark’s tweet wasn’t the biggest problem with it. The willingness to call out someone who dared reference a documented incident for which Clark received not nearly as much national scrutiny (and arguably not as much punishment from the court system) as he should have borders on the bizarre. It would be one thing if Weiner had committed an intrusion on Clark’s reasonable privacy interests or had dusted off an unfair or inaccurate hot take about Clark. Weiner merely made a reference to something that actually happened.
For Clark, multiple things happened. He was accused of domestic violence while at Michigan, and he ultimately pleaded guilty to disorderly conduct in a deal with prosecutors. However, the police who investigated the case disagreed with the conclusion by prosecutors that Clark did not strike his victim.
Clark also was convicted in 2012 on felony home-invasion charges, which caused him to ultimately miss one week of practice and a single game while playing for Brady Hoke at Ann Arbor.
So Clark got a pass from Hoke in 2012. And Clark arguably got a pass from prosecutors after that. And Clark got a pass of sorts from the Seahawks, who still took him in round two. And Clark largely has gotten a pass from the media. Instead of complaining when someone dares reference his past, he should use those occasions as a reminder of all the passes he’s gotten when it comes to the consequences of his behavior.