All That and a Bag of Mail

It’s Friday, rejoice!

And go play our free college football pick’em. You can win $10k of my money. Good luck (but not too much luck).

Okay, here we go with the mailbag.

Vol4life Tweets:

“Would Mason Rudolph win a civil suit for defamation against Myles Garrett?”

The challenge here is that Mason Rudolph has to prove — by a more likely than not civil court standard — that he didn’t say the racial slur in order to win a defamation lawsuit against Garrett. And then he also has to prove that Garrett knew he didn’t say that slur and alleged he said it anyway.

That’s a really high standard to meet in order to win a defamation case.

There is ample evidence that Rudolph did not say the slur. Among that evidence: zero additional witnesses have come forward to corroborate Garrett’s claim, Garrett hand wrote an apology to Rudolph for his actions, something that seems unlikely if Rudolph racially slurred him. Garrett waited until six days after the incident to publicly accuse Rudolph. At the time he made the accusation Garrett stood to gain a substantial public benefit based on the allegation being true; that is, he could have received a reduced suspension, resulting in his receipt of substantially more salary than he otherwise would have made, and Rudolph’s black teammates defended him in a brawl, something they might not be likely to do if they believed he was racist.

These are all points of evidence in favor of Mason Rudolph.

But can you prove it’s more likely than not that Garrett is lying based on this evidence? That’s very hard to do.

Then you also have to factor in that Garrett could argue he believed he heard a racial slur. What if he heard a word that sounds like a racial slur? Just hypothetically, what if Mason Rudolph said while Garrett laid on top of him after delivering a borderline late hit, “You’re a bigger bitch than I thought!”

Is it possible Garrett could have heard the word bigger and thought it was a racial slur?


So it’s hard to prove in a court of law that Garrett intentionally made up a false allegation because Garrett could legitimately believe he heard a slur even though it might not have happened.

This morning on the radio I pointed out one of the biggest issues with stories like these: we’ve taken to accepting allegations that are virtually impossible to prove or disprove if they support our worldview. If you believe racism is everywhere, you see it everywhere. If you believe racism is exaggerated you see it exaggerated everywhere.

And the hyperbolic example I was using is this: there’s an escaped kangaroo in the South right now. If I accused you, the person reading this article right now, of sleeping with that kangaroo could you 100% prove that I was lying and you didn’t sleep with the kangaroo?

Unless you have a film crew with you all day long or you have a person accompanying you for every second of every day who can testify to your whereabouts, you probably can’t 100% prove that I’m lying about you sleeping with a kangaroo. That’s despite the fact that we all know the only people in the South who would sleep with kangaroos are Alabama fans, and that most of you aren’t even Alabama fans.

That’s because it’s virtually impossible to prove a negative. That is, when you are accused of something it’s nearly impossible to prove you 100% didn’t do that thing.

It doesn’t matter what the accusation is.

That’s why our criminal and civil courts adopt the opposite perspective.

In order for you to be found guilty of a crime the state or federal government has to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you committed the crime. The burden of proof is on them. The defendant doesn’t have to prove he didn’t do something, the state or federal government has to prove he did do something.

The same is true, with a lower standard, of the civil courts.

The plaintiff in a civil lawsuit bears the burden of proving an act occurred. So Rudolph would have to prove it’s more likely than not that Garrett lied and that he knowingly lied about the racial slur.

Absent audio evidence proving exactly what was said, that’s a very high standard to meet.

That’s why it would be hard to win a case like this, unfortunately.

I do believe, however, that Rudolph should explore the idea of criminal assault charges being levied against Garrett. Rudolph knows whether or not he said a racial slur. If he 100% didn’t say it, I’d be so furious about this allegation that I’d want Garrett to face criminal assault charges for what he did to me.

Thanks to all the cameras, we 100% know Garrett assaulted Rudolph.

This case would be easy to prove for any DA.

Last week I told you I didn’t believe charges should be filed in this case and wouldn’t pursue them if I were Rudolph because I don’t like the precedent it sets.

But if Garrett accused me of a racial slur and I didn’t do it? I’d want him prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law for his criminal misbehavior.

Andrew Tweets:

“How should the NFL handle the situation with Myles Garrett if it is actually proven that absolutely no racial slur was said?”

If there was audio that 100% proved no racial slur was said then I think the NFL should give Garrett an opportunity to retract his claim and publicly apologize, once more, to Mason Rudolph.

If Garrett refused to apologize and retract his claim then I think the NFL should lengthen his suspension for lying to the appeals officer in an effort to reduce his penalty.

There needs to be severe consequences for false allegations like these.

But, as I discussed above, 100% proving something didn’t happen is difficult absent perfect audio and video evidence of an incident.

I will say this, however, we have to move away from the idea that what someone says to you somehow justifies physical violence. Even if Mason Rudolph uttered a racial slur, Garrett’s behavior is still far worse than Rudolph’s.

Yes, racism is awful and words have power, but in the end they’re just words.

Words only have as much power as you allow them to have over you.

Think about this for a minute, if you’re a white guy in America today it’s better to get a DUI than be publicly accused of racism.

Isn’t that completely backwards? You can easily kill yourself or someone else driving drunk, but it’s much easier to overcome the tangible act of a DUI for a white guy than it is to be accused of racism.

That’s one reason our national discourse on race is so broken, because white people are afraid of losing their jobs if they speak honestly. It’s easier for most people to just shut up and utter banal cliches like, “racism is bad,” than legitimately address the issue.

What Garrett did on the football field could have killed someone; it was a violent action with serious potential consequences. What someone might have said to him is in no way a justification for this behavior.

And, honestly, anyone arguing that what someone said is justification for this kind of behavior is essentially arguing that a black adult isn’t capable of making rational decisions when people say mean things to him. That’s absurd and, honestly, racist itself because it assumes a total lack of self control.

We punish actions in this country, not words. But, increasingly, it appears to me that in an era of social media we punish words more seriously than actions.

Reasonable adults need to start standing up and pointing out this absurdity. I give props to Booger McFarland for essentially saying this on Twitter this morning.

Finally, we’ve got to start calling out people like Terrell Owens who said that Max Kellerman was blacker than Stephen A. Smith because Kellerman defended Myles Garrett on First Take. It is a fundamentally racist comment to argue someone’s opinion on any issue should be dictated by their race.

Or that based on your race you should have to take the side of the person with the same skin tone as you.

I just fundamentally reject this identity politics-laden era of our country.

No one should assume anyone’s opinion based on their color of their skin and no one should be obligated to pick a side based on it either.

The fact that racist statements like TO’s can be made, and receive virtually no national push back, is a sign of how broken our national conversation truly is on race.

Fitty Tweets:

“Is Colin Kaepernick a fraud?”

Yes, of course he is.

Colin Kaepernick is selling woke capitalism on behalf of a multi-billion dollar corporation to idiot social justice warriors who aren’t smart enough to see what’s going on here.

He and Nike are playing them like a fiddle.

They’re getting these woke fools to give their money to a major company, which will then use that money to make even more money. As a capitalist, it’s pretty brilliant.

Look, deep down Kaepernick knows his only value as a brand at this point is if he’s unemployed and he can claim it’s because he’s a woke martyr. That’s why he wanted his film crew at the workout and it’s why he showed up in a Kunta Kinte shirt. He’s selling the idea that he’s a heroic rebel when the reality is he’s selling a false ideal to idiots.

The minute Kap is on the sideline as a back up quarterback, he’s a sell out. He’s just another millionaire football player.

But if he can’t get a job?

Kap is a hero!

The amazingly ironic reality is Kap isn’t a slave fighting for his freedom like Kunta Kinte was; he’s the slavemaster who owned Kunta Kinte. Think about it, Kap doesn’t have a real job and Nike pays him millions of dollars a year to endorse them. How does Nike make that money that they pay Kap? By paying Asian workers virtual slave labor salaries to make Kap’s shoes and shirts overseas.

Kap and Nike are like the plantation owners and the cotton traders. Sitting on his porch sipping iced tea with someone fanning them watching the slaves work out in the fields. Kap’s directly profiting off the exploitation of brown people in Asia while he claims he won’t stand for the exploitation of black and brown people in America.

It’s unbelievable hypocrisy and the fact that the American media, for the most part, let’s him get away with it is wild.

Kap could easily go to Nike and instead of making them pull Betsy Ross flag shoes on July 4th because they’re racist he could say, “I want my shoes to be made in America and I want American workers to receive full benefits and a living wage. If we’re going to ask Americans to pay $150 for my shoes, we can lower the usual Nike profit margin to source those shoes here and employ hundreds — if not thousands — of underemployed black and brown people in this country. I demand it!”

Kap could make that demand in public and Nike would have to acquiesce.

But, and this is key, if he makes that demand then Nike might pay him less money too because the company would be less profitable with his shoe line.

Which is why Kap won’t make that demand.

He’s a capitalist and he doesn’t want to make less money. It’s the same with LeBron James, who will denounce Donald Trump to the heavens, but won’t say a single negative word about China.

All of this woke SJW crap is pure bullshit.

Capitalists have just decided that the woke SJW marketplace is too dumb to realize that their dollars are actually going to propagate the existing hierarchy of power, and make it even more powerful, than it was before.

Nike is selling woke capitalism and most of the people buying it don’t even realize what’s going on.

But the fact that the vast majority of the media are too dumb to see this is mind-boggling.

The entire woke industry in this country, from the woke consumer to the woke company, is built on a huge foundation of lies.

But once you see this castle in the air, everything else makes complete sense. It’s all predicated on no one actually noticing any of this.

Sure, Kap’s a fraud, but so are the companies supporting him and the media members treating him like a hero.

It’s all one big sham, like the Wizard of Oz sitting behind the curtain, furiously manipulating the levers of technology in the hopes that no one notices how small and powerless he really is.

In Pool Player Tweets:

“What is the most likely scenario that could cause enough chaos to give us an 8 team playoff?”

Minnesota loses to Wisconsin to finish the year, putting 10-2 Wisconsin into the Big Ten title game. Ohio State beats Penn State, but loses to Michigan and Wisconsin to finish 10-2 without a title.

The Badgers win the Big Ten at 11-2 and every other Big Ten team has two losses.

Oklahoma loses to Oklahoma State next weekend and Baylor loses to Texas this weekend. This means the Big 12 champ has two losses.

Oregon loses this weekend to Arizona State and then beats Utah to win the Pac 12 title, meaning the Pac 12 title team has two losses as well.

Clemson loses to South Carolina and the ACC title game to finish with two losses also.

Meanwhile Georgia finishes 12-1 after beating 12-1 LSU in the SEC title game and Alabama finishes 11-1 after beating Auburn in the Iron Bowl.

In this scenario your 1, 2, and 3 seeded teams would all be from the SEC. I think you’d probably take Wisconsin as the four seed.

But people would lose their mind if three of the four playoff teams were from the SEC.

Just like they lost their minds when Alabama and LSU played for a national title back in the 2011 season.

I think that’s probably the best way to get a playoff expansion.

Kent writes:

“Does Jim Harbaugh have to at least compete with OSU in the Big House to remain at Michigan?”

I don’t think so.

Look, I have pointed out Jim Harbaugh is insanely overrated relative to his accomplishments, but who is Michigan going to get that’s better?

No one.

For all the attention Michigan football gets, they’ve won ONE HALF OF A NATIONAL TITLE SINCE 1948. (They split a title with Nebraska in 1997).

That means in the past 72 years of football Michigan has won half a national title.

And they have an all time losing record in bowl games at 21-26.

I think many of you are stunned reading those stats right now.

The truth of the matter is this, Michigan’s football history, from a national championship perspective, is completely mediocre, at best. Especially over the past 70 years or so.

The expectations — and national media coverage — of Michigan football are far in excess of the reality of their accomplishments. Yes, Michigan has a storied history of wins, but much of that history of wins exists from a time when many schools weren’t even playing football yet.

Here are their national titles since World War II: 1947, 1948, 1997.

They’ve won a single half title since Harry Truman left office!

So, no, I don’t think Harbaugh is in serious jeopardy.

Now, could he leave? Certainly.

But that would be of his own choice.

Wilson writes:

“Do you like or hate the idea of the titans drafting Tua now that he’s likely to fall in the draft?”

I don’t ever hate taking a chance on a quarterback who might be good.

Quarterbacks matter too much in the NFL, so I kind of view them like college quarterbacks. You know how colleges always sign a new quarterback every year just because they aren’t sure who the good ones are? I think the NFL is kind of like that too.

The Titans have gone 0-3 in their last three first round quarterbacks: Vince Young at third overall, Jake Locker at 8th overall and Marcus Mariota at second overall. Mariota is, of these three guys, by far the most successful, but it appears his time is over with the team.

Right now it looks like Ryan Tannehill, assuming he doesn’t fall apart in the final six games of the season, will probably get a deal to be the Titans starter next year.

But could they also draft someone?

For sure.

I’d be fine if Tua was that pick.

The most Titans thing imaginable, by the way, would be passing on Tua, so he somehow ends up with the Colts, and releasing Mariota so he ends up with his former coach, Mark Helfrich, now the Bears.

And then seeing both of these guys play against each other one year in the Super Bowl.

Cole writes:

“You take over for Adam Silver as commissioner of the NBA, how do you save it?”

While most in the media won’t cover it, NBA TV ratings have totally tanked in the past two years. They’re down 27% from two years ago and on Wednesday night ESPN’s ratings were off 60% from last year’s Wednesday night games in the same week.

Sixty percent!

So the league, whether the media will cover it or not, is in a bit of a crisis in the wake of the China mess, load management, top player injuries, and the players and coaches adopting far left wing “woke” politics because it’s “popular” on social media.

My first rule would be any player who sits out for load management has to sign autographs and pose for pictures for the entire game for every fan who shows up and gets in line to meet them. (I’d have an autograph line for kids and adults, by the way, and the kid line would move ten times as fast. If you’re a grown ass man getting another grown ass man’s autograph, you deserve to wait a while for it).

The second thing I’d do is mandate that no one can sit for nationally televised basketball games unless they are on an injury list and missing a week or more of action.

The third thing I’d do is move the NBA season to starting on Christmas Day. Then I’d run the NBA season all the way to June before we started the playoffs.

The fourth thing I’d do is cut the playoff teams in half. Only eight teams would make the playoffs instead of sixteen teams.

The best way to prove the regular season matters is to make it hard to make the post-season.

That would be a good starting point, I think.

Hope y’all have fantastic weekends.

Thanks for reading and go sign up for our Outkick pick’em.

Written by Clay Travis

OutKick founder, host and author. He's presently banned from appearing on both CNN and ESPN because he’s too honest for both.