Freeze, OJ reactions show societal issues

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Opponents of the Ole Miss football team were quick to pounce Thursday when the shocking news out of Oxford began circulating that coach Hugh Freeze had resigned. Only weeks before players arrive at camp, the Rebels find themselves reeling with a first-year head football coach now in charge.

Freeze, it has been reported, contacted an escort service on a university-owned cellphone. The call lasted a minute, according to reports, and was to a phone number in Tampa. Embarrassing? Terribly. But one must wonder if that alone led to his resignation, or was it the straw that broke the camel’s back as the university’s football team remains under NCAA scrutiny.

The reactions, though, are stunning yet emblematic of the direction our society is going. People thrust themselves onto social media where they tore down Freeze with vitriol. He did portray himself as holier than thou and always used his faith to bring people closer to him. In that respect, Freeze is a hypocrite and deserves some of the reaction. However, Freeze — like every one of us — is flawed. We are human beings. We fail daily. There are a whole lot of people out there hurling large stones while standing in their glass houses.

Seems to be a perfect example of what is happening, overall, in our society. We have become drama queens in a world with a blood-thirst for drama. We demand drama 24 hours a day.

And we are about to get some more, too. OJ Simpson was paroled on Thursday after serving nine years of a 33-year sentence for attempted robbery. The sentence itself was a miscarriage of justice. No doubt that the jury was sentencing Simpson for the 1994 homicide he skated on. We see locally much worse than attempted robbery gets much less of a sentence. Immediately, people became divided over OJ, again. Great, something else to divide us. Don’t let a 70-year-old ex-football star who got away with murder do that to us. Do you think he is the only person who has — or will, in some familiar cases — get away with murder? Hardly.

He has lived the last nine years in anonymity behind prison bars and we didn’t seem to miss him much. Why should we care now?

Flipping through Internet news sites on Thursday, a Leader-Call reporter came across NBC News. A woman stood near a lectern with about a dozen microphones attached. No one else made the frame. An office building sat in the background. NBC was waiting for a live-feed verdict of a Nevada parole-board hearing. It wreaked of the ridiculous.

There sure is a lot of that stench these days, both nationally and locally.