Donaghy Gets His, Some of it

With the sentencing of former NBA ref Tim Donaghy being handed down today, one of the biggest sports stories of last summer has finally a closed book–hopefully.

Donaghy was sentenced to 15 months in federal prison, almost a year less than the recommended time of 27-33 months for similar offenses.

I can’t help but think back to another story that shared headlines with Donaghy last summer, which is the Micahel Vick dogfighting case.
Vick received 23 months in prison and unspeakable monetary losses, evidenced by his filing for bankruptcy earlier this month.

Now, I’m not here to rate their crimes. Well actually I am. Michael Vick’s crime was a crime of culture. So in essence, he was punished because of his culture. I’m not saying that everyone African-American male fights dogs. I am saying that the majority of African-American males in urban environments are familiar with the “sport.” But as I listened to the morning sports talks shows, all I heard was disbelief in the fact that culture had anything to do with his actions.

Meanwhile Tim Donaghy received less time than recommended partly because a gambling expert called him a pathological gambler who has no control over his addiction? Really? I understand that gambling is a serious issue and an addictive activity. But this was an NBA official, an NBA policeman if you will. There is no question that Donaghy knew exactly the severity of what he was doing.

Like I said I’m not here to rate their crimes or put one against the other to determine whose actions were worse. That’s for you to decide. But stepping back and looking at the two cases and the subsequent sentences, it just doesn’t add up.

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