Kudos to the Calgary Stampeders of the Canadian Football League for giving Tony Washington a chance. You may remember Mr. Washington, who has been persecuted, prosecuted, and endured employment discrimination over a consensual sexual experience. I have no idea if the offensive lineman’s talent should have him in the US National Football League, but since fear and bigotry are still alive and persistent, he hasn’t been given full consideration.
The Stamps tried to get him into Canada a season ago, but failed. Many of the necessary documents in New Orleans — court records, psychiatrist reports — had been destroyed by Hurricane Katrina. This time around, evaluations redone and paperwork in place, Washington was cleared by Canadian immigration officials.
He’s 6’6” and 311 pounds, and if he shines on the field, it will be the NFL’s loss, and a loss for the NFL’s fans, and the CFL will benefit. So it goes; bigots will lose, and those with open minds will benefit.
The past has haunted Washington, despite the fact that, after two years Trinity Valley (Athens, Texas) Community College, he attended Abilene Christian University, a no-nonsense religious college.
Folks at that school continue to vouch for Washington.
“He had glowing reports from the dean, from the president, from the coaches, everybody who dealt with Tony,” Hufnagel said recently. “They had great things to say about the young man.”
Sounds like he’s not just an asset on the field, but off the field as well. It is outrageous that he’s a registered sex offender. There is no comparing Mr. Washington, who had a youthful, consensual interaction with his sister, with a rapist or child molester. The legal authorities should be ashamed of themselves for setting up this travesty of justice.