There is no excuse for the vulgar, drunken and violent acts committed by former Nebraska defensive tackle Christian Peter, who during his five years in Lincoln was arrested eight times and convicted four times on charges ranging from public urination to third-degree sexual assault for groping a woman in a bar. He is also being sued by a woman who says he raped her twice. Facing public outrage after drafting Peter last April, the Patriots relinquished rights to him three days later.
Since then, Peter has been trying to get his life in order. He enrolled at Fairleigh Dickinson to study hotel and restaurant management. He attends counseling to address his alcohol abuse, his abusive treatment of women and his attention deficit disorder. He has also been punished for his various offenses, paying small fines for two violations, spending 10 days in a Kearney, Neb., jail for grabbing a woman by the neck in a bar, and completing 18 months' probation on the sexual-assault conviction.
Peter has earned what the New York Giants are giving him—another chance. The Giants say they will sign Peter to a contract at the end of this season if he stays out of trouble. The contract will include a one-strike-and-you're-out stipulation.
Peter has done his time, and New York will afford him an opportunity to get on with his life. Understandably, there will be protests. But the Giants are doing this right, requiring Peter to spend the next six months proving he's a changed person before he steps onto a football field. "Since Christian has been in his counseling program, he hasn't slipped up once," says New York general manager George Young. "If someone wants something badly enough, he'll pay the price."
The Cobb County Agenda
The Atlanta Committee for the Olympic Games (ACOG) made headlines in 1994 when it moved the site of the volleyball competition out of Cobb County after the county passed a "family values" resolution that proclaimed homosexuality incompatible with community standards. ACOG, it appeared, was taking a laudable stand against intolerance. Regrettably, it turns out that was not what the committee was doing at all.
Writing in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution this month, Dick Yarbrough, ACOG's head publicist, explained that keeping volleyball in Cobb would have meant "giving gay rights advocates the highest-profile platform from which to rally their troops worldwide. So we moved the event." Thereby keeping the Games and gays out of Cobb County.
Scuttling the Pirates
After 110 seasons in the National League, the Pittsburgh Pirates are baseball's worst-case scenario: a small-market franchise with underfunded ownership fielding an uncompetitive team in a large and charmless multipurpose stadium. The Pirates need help from the game's profitable franchises, which would have been forthcoming had not the owners failed on Nov. 15 to ratify a labor agreement hammered out by their lead negotiator. And the Bucs need to drum up public financial support for a new stadium. Without that assistance, baseball in Pittsburgh—a legacy that has passed from Honus Wagner to Pie Traynor to Roberto Clemente to Barry Bonds—will continue its slide.