Patrick Kane Investigation Causing Some Fans To Cross The Line

Patrick Kane is a great hockey player. The Chicago Blackhawks' right winger's play on the ice is why he is considered one of the top five players in the NHL. The things that he can do in a hockey rink is worthy of praise and adulation. Patrick Kane is a terror to contain in the sport that he plays.

If you are not a follower of the NHL, but you are familiar with other sports, Patrick Kane is the Stephen Curry of hockey.

Curry is a small guy, an NBA player who looks more like a college student than a man who keeps dominating big guys with his pure skill. Kane is a scrawny guy who makes the bigger hockey players look like amateurs on most occasions. Both Curry and Kane are champions. They live different lives away from their respective sports.

On the ice, Patrick Kane is worthy of the worship. That worship is supposed to translate off the ice, as long as he earns it. With the still-pending investigation involving him and a young woman, along with other head-scratching moments, nothing can be said about Patrick Kane except for that he is a great hockey player. This is what some fans have misunderstood.

Just because he is a great hockey player it does not mean he is an ideal role model.

Who Patrick Kane is as a hockey player does not translate off the ice rink. The investigation that he is involved in may, or may not, shed much light into who he is away from the team. All fans can and should do is root for him as a representative of the Chicago Blackhawks.

During a time when his character has come into question, there are a lot of supporters who have stepped up in a campaign that they believe will make him innocent. Their support has ranged from general concern to vitriol and vile comments. Some people have gone as far as issuing threats on the lives of those who are opposed to the actions that could possibly be true about their hero. The jury is still out on Patrick Kane. He may be a hero in the eyes of some people, but there are others who consider him an unsavory person.

News flash: it is your right to feel whatever way you want to feel about this. It is your opinion.

Admit it: you may not, but support for Patrick Kane, or any athlete, for that matter, is a choice. If one chooses to not root for him, this does not mean that they are against him. Perhaps they are against his actions. They are against his lifestyle and the choices he makes. Some people do not follow his situation enough to care. They just want to go on about their lives.

Some of these people have received despicable messages. Many people have been on the receiving end of some disrespectful tweets, but few compared to Julie DiCaro.

Julie DiCaro is an update anchor and contributor for one of Chicago's top sports radio stations. She is also an attorney. DiCaro's knowledge of the legal system has placed her into the role of expert analyst when discussing the Patrick Kane investigation.

Her comments have primarily stayed on course with the legal process. She has been objective about the Patrick Kane investigation, mostly speaking from the vantage point of what the prosecutors can and will try and do. Taking this stance has led to people suggesting that she has taken the side of the accuser. It has led to some dark and cruel words.

Everything came to a head this past Friday. Julie DiCaro is usually heard on Chicago airwaves, but this day something was different. She was absent. The reason for her absence (courtesy of the Huffington Post) made national news.

DiCaro also took to Twitter for a little insight on her absence as well.

What has happened to her is a pure example of how far some fans will go to prove their point and show their support for a player, or the team that they love. It is clear that some fans have crossed the line in their support of Patrick Kane. The attitude is simply that one is either "with us, or against us." And if you are against the idea that Kane is being set up, you are, apparently, an entire list of bad names, and you do not deserve to live.

There have been several people who have expressed their feelings as things with the investigation has taken place. Opinions were everywhere when the accuser's attorney stepped down (courtesy of the Nation) from the case. Much of the backlash has been placed on Twitter. Most of the words and suggestions are so disturbing that they cannot be shared. They are available if you seek them out. Much of what you will read will make you cringe.

What has taken place distorts the definition of a fan.

Fans are supposed to root for their favorites when they win games. Once they hit the police blotter, it is innocent until proven guilty. Here lies the crux: players are always going to get into some trouble. Their status as celebrities should never absolve them. An ordinary John Doe would not get a pass. Just because we love our favorite athletes, they cannot be afforded a pass, either.

Does Patrick Kane deserve a pass?

As more evidence is released about the investigation, it appears that he will be proven innocent when the dust settles. Unfortunately, the accuser and her mother will be vilified. In social media, they have already been labeled the villains. Somehow, they concocted this story in an effort to trap a hockey hero. Remember, it takes two to tango. No one really knows what took place that night. Patrick Kane could be innocent, or guilty. We will never know the truth.

If it all turns out to be a hoax in the end, Patrick Kane was unwittingly complicit in it. His innocence will lead to celebrations by his fans, along with some name-calling. That will also happen if he is found guilty. If it turns out that he has to pay in civil court, the accuser will continue to be dragged in the mud, while Patrick Kane supporters will continue to claim foul. Many of them have already crossed the line.

Meanwhile, they will be others who will be afraid to speak out on any allegations because of this, regardless what happens. They will either see it as Patrick Kane getting away with sexual assault, or a young woman manipulating the system, thus giving their claims even less validation than they already receive. Sadly, they will also remember the fans who crossed the line with their hurtful words.

[Photo by Jonathan Daniel / Getty Images Sport]