Chris Rainey and the Pittsburgh Steelers’ season concluded a little early when they finished behind Cincinnati* and Baltimore to miss the playoffs a second year in a row. He was back in Gainesville when he and his girlfriend of 9 months got into a spat. He allegedly tried to pull her out of her car, and slapped her across the face. He is charged with a misdemeanor battery, but could’ve faced worse charges for trying to pull her out of the vehicle; Burglary with a Battery is a Life Felony in Florida. Now, a neighbor who was a witness has come forward to dispute the allegations and speak up on Mr. Rainey’s behalf. She says he only touched her backpack, and never slapped her. Florida’s battery statute is very broad so as to include ANY touching, so he may not be out of the woods even with this new witness.
I have to admit that before the new witness came forward, I was having trouble giving Rainey the benefit of the doubt. After his ignominious first arrest, where he texted the now infamous “It’s Time to Die, Bitch”, it is very difficult to afford him the presumption of innocence, even for myself. It was also funny when they taunted him with that at football games. The Steelers did not wait for the full story, and have already cut Rainey. Violence against women is a serious concern in this country, but Rainey has the right to defend himself and get his day in court before judgment should be passed.
This is the second NFL related arrest already this offseason… and the first one to affect my Fantasy Football team (ok, he’s on my roster, but it’s not like he was a keeper).
*I am a blatant Cincinnati Bengals fan.