Hamburg police Chief Gregory Wickett confirmed Friday morning that Chicago Blackhawks star Patrick Kane is the center of a criminal investigation.
According to The Buffalo News, the investigation stems from rape accusations made by a woman who met Kane at a nightclub last weekend. No charges have been filed, and officials have yet to confirm whether Kane’s investigation involves the sexual assault allegations.
This is not Kane’s first run-in with the law.
In 2009, the Chicago Blackhawks star was arrested after a dispute with a Buffalo cab driver. Although criminal charges were dropped, Kane pleaded guilty to the noncriminal violation of disorderly conduct.
After these recent events, a comment Kane made at the Blackhawks Championship celebration rally in June has taken on a far more ominous tone. “I know you said I’ve been growing up, but watch out for me the next week,” Kane said.
This event further calls into questions Kane’s maturity, his behavior and his status as a role model. In a February interview when asked about being a role model, Kane responded “I don’t know if I’ll ever really see myself as a role model to be honest with you.”
Whether or not he wanted “role model” status, it comes with being one of the top players in the NHL. Consider it part of the 8-year, $84-million contract. His picture will be on the cover of the EA SPORTS NHL 2016 video game for the second time. Young hockey players and fans across the country wear his name and number across their backs and aspire to be just like Patrick Kane. Now, many parents will need to have a very difficult discussion with their children about what their child’s favorite player has been accused of and why.
But maybe it’s about time we had this discussion. Not just a parent-child discussion, but also a conversation about the rape culture that is so prevalent and cultivated in today’s sex-charged society.
It’s sad to think that this type of discourse only happens when there’s a situation involving celebrities. Just as race relations should not only be discussed after events like the Ferguson and Baltimore riots, and conversations about domestic violence need to occur outside of the NFL, we also need to engage in a greater dialogue about rape and sexual assault.
The conversations that are undoubtedly being had across the country in light of recent events should be more common. We should be working on these issues before they become headlines.
Many people are saying they want to hold their comments on Patrick Kane’s situation until they have “all the facts”, but we can’t wait for all of the facts because we aren’t going to get them. There are only two people who will ever know exactly what happened last weekend, but there are countless more that will be affected by sexual assault during their lifetimes.
Instead of waiting, we need talk. We need to talk about how we can make our society a safer place for women. We need to talk about how we can give victims the support they deserve. Most importantly, we need to talk about why this keeps happening, and we need to find a solution.
[Photo by Anna Enriquez.]