Patrick Kane better find the sports version of Olivia Pope sometime soon. Not to make light of a difficult situation, but the star player of the Stanley Cup-winning Chicago Blackhawks may have found himself on the wrong side of the law again.
According to a report by Buffalo’s ABC affiliate, WKBW, the local Hamburg police department is sorting out details of an incident involving Patrick Kane and an unidentified woman. The investigation is a look into a possible sexual assault that allegedly took place last weekend.
While not much information has been released since the Buffalo news station issued the initial report, what we know is that Patrick Kane is currently a person of interest. No matter what facts come out from this point, guilty or not, Kane has some serious judgment issues that need to be addressed.
Patrick Kane is a known commodity on and off the ice. As a young millionaire, he should be able to enjoy the spoils of life. The problem he seems to have is overindulgence. That can be said about his partying, his well-documented drinking binges and his penchant for picking up women.
Not long ago, in 2009, Kane was in trouble with the authorities in Buffalo after assaulting a cab driver. Trying to get that situation into his rearview mirror, things were resolved quickly, but the damage was done. Winning helped the fans in Chicago forget about that incident with the cab driver. Even Patrick Kane attempted to make light out of the assault during the Chicago Blackhawks 2013 celebration of a Stanley Cup win.
Patrick Kane had grown up, people said. Those words were voiced amongst the fans, but if you talk to people a little bit closer to the Blackhawks, you hear a slightly different story. Kane was still up to his wild boy days, he was just a little tamer and everything remained out of the public eye. That is until now.
Less than one year removed from signing a huge eight-year extension the star wing is in the news for the wrong reason again. It was just a couple of months ago that the Blackhawks were in the playoffs beating teams to win the Cup again.
Some people, call them apologists if you wish, are quick to point out the fact that he is a 26 year-old young man.
Partying is what young men do they said. As of now Patrick Kane has not been charged with any wrongdoing.
Patrick Kane is not the only high-profiled sports figure to have a sexual assault investigation hang over a championship victory in recent memory. Jameis Winston was under scrutiny for a similar situation. It is clear though that Kane is getting some benefit of the doubt here. That is different in Winston’s case.
The Florida State quarterback had a young woman who accused him of sexual assault. The raking over the coals came immediately for Winston prior to him being charged for any wrong doing. Patrick Kane should be thrown to the wolves in some respects if for no other reason than poor judgment right now.
Besides poor judgment, Kane is not yet guilty of anything, but he definitely is not innocent of anything. Any time a rape-kit is involved in a criminal investigation things must be taken seriously no matter who the figure in question is.
The Chicago media has covered the story at nauseam. The comments from callers of radio stations have ranged from sensible, to downright sickening. There is a huge contingent of fans who refuse to believe that one of their favorite players could do something so heinous as sexual assault. He is a champion, they say. He is an immature young man, they say. He was in the wrong place at the wrong time, they say.
Enough with the excuses already!
We do not have enough details to excuse Patrick Kane. We also cannot hastily point a finger in his direction. What we can do is question why would he allow himself to be in the position to lose everything his talent helped him gain.
As a person of significance, why be out in the wee hours of the night?
Sure, there are plenty of attractions, alluring people who are willing to do just about anything to be next to greatness. There are fame chasers, money grabbers, and other type of attention seekers. A mature person knows this. They know what awaits them as they walk the streets, hit the clubs, bar hop, etc. Guilty or not, fact or fiction, every time a person of Patrick Kane’s stature goes out, they run the risk of facing imminent danger the very moment they walk out of that door.
Patrick Kane is one of the better known members of the Chicago Blackhawks’ core. People know who he is, especially in his hometown of Buffalo. Patrick Kane should know better at this stage of the game. Whether he is officially charged of sexual assault remains to be seen. Right now Kane is guilty of poor judgment and lack of foresight.
Where was his entourage?
Where were his bodyguard or a couple of handlers who could have intervened here?
Where was any able-bodied adult who could have stepped up and said no, because it clearly does not appear that Kane can do it himself.
Someone get Olivia Pope on the phone because Patrick Kane could use a fixer.
(Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images Sports)