Hi Bob Quinn, I’m Sharona and I want to tell you a love story. You may not care and judging from your latest comments about Joe Mixon you probably don’t care. I’m still going to tell it to you because our stories are important and maybe it might help you understand why your comments were bush league and why I wanted to throat punch you.
This letter is also for the NFL which professes to care about violence against women yet won’t come right out and tell it’s 32 member teams that maybe drafting a known domestic abuser is something we frown upon and perhaps you should not value money over morals. Or maybe not it’s hard to tell if the NFL really does care about these matters.
I wish you didn’t have to care about violence against women but only because I wish it were not still a thing. Yet, as we know just from the NFL combine alone, it’s still a thing. Per NCADV, one of three women will experience violence at the hands of an intimate partner. The latest estimate indicates roughly 45% of NFL fans are women (they are also people too but I digress.) As they say, numbers don’t lie.
You might ask what that has to do with my love story? I was 30 years old the first time I took a fist to the face from a man I loved and who professed to love me. You might ask what I did to deserve such treatment which is fair because society always asks women what they did to deserve the abuse that gets handed down to them every single day.
I committed the high crime (and misdemeanor?) of wanting to move on with my life after leaving this relationship. I accepted a date from a fella who seemed nice. We were at a restaurant eating dinner before going on to do something else. Perhaps a movie I no longer remember. I would ask him but he vanished faster than you can say Speedy Gonzalez after what happened next.
The man I had been dating showed up. There was a scene. It was not the first. It would not be the last. There were tears and I was asked to abandon this date and leave with him. I refused and the next thing I know a fist hits me on my left cheekbone and I am literally seeing stars.
The blow fractured my cheekbone though I didn’t know it at the time. I only knew a pain far deeper than the physical reality of the moment. I knew a pain you can only know when someone you loved and trusted commits an unspeakable act of violence toward you.
They say pain goes away and bruises do fade yet some damage is permanent. The damage done to your soul is hard to heal but sometimes the physical pain has a way of sticking around too.
A few years later, I am a new associate working for a law firm in downtown Nashville. I have my head down grinding hard because that’s what you do when you are a new attorney. Also, because I was trying to hide from people who might ask why the left side of my face is all swollen and grotesque. Yet, you can’t hide forever.
I had been called upon by a partner a few weeks earlier to make a court appearance for him. Makeup can’t hide everything not even residual damage from a blow that happened two years earlier. I wore my glasses and arranged my hair as best I could to hide the swelling. I hope I was successful. At least no one said anything. What should have been a big moment was lost in dealing with it all.
To this day it still happens. The left side of my face will just randomly swell, and while cold compresses help only time makes it go away. I don’t know why it does this. Oh, I consulted a doctor when it started happening. He was a very good doctor but he had no solutions. Also, I will never forget the look on his face when I told him what was happening and why. It was that look you get that says so much.
Why didn’t you leave? Why did this happen? Why didn’t you just placate him? What did you do to deserve this? Why are you telling me this?
I’m telling you because it’s important. I’m telling you because it still happens. I’m telling you because you value Joe Mixon’s ability to carry a football down a field of grass over the damage he did to a young woman. I’m telling you because women matter too and I’m tired of men like you acting like we don’t.
Pain doesn’t always heal. Chicks don’t always dig scars (not when they are our own) and you know what? Faux glory doesn’t really last forever.