Trending Topics

After Domestic Violence Accusation, Is NASCAR’s Kurt Busch the Beneficiary of a Racist Double Standard?

B-UxLM3IQAA3j6rIt’s not that Kurt Busch, the NASCAR star driver, will not face charges for alleged domestic violence against his ex-girlfriend. It’s not that it took the sport about five months before suspending him for his alleged involvement. But something is not kosher.

Where have the women’s organizations that could not wait to voice their opposition to Floyd Mayweather, Ray Rice, Ray McDonald, Greg Hardy, Jason Kidd or many other athletes accused of allegedly committing similar crimes? Why has Busch enjoyed relative peace as it relates to organizations that salivate over cases of big-money stars in trouble?

There is only one discernible difference between Busch and the others, and that’s race.

No, everything does not have to be about race. But when it’s as obvious as a bruise on the head, it cannot be ignored.

Busch’s former girlfriend, Patricia Driscoll, 36, said that on September 26, a week after they broke up, the NASCAR star racer attacked her in his motorhome at Dover International Speedway.

She filed court documents asking that a judge order Busch to stay away from her and not contact her. She also asked that Busch undergo a psychiatric evaluation and be evaluated by a certified domestic violence treatment agency.

The documents said Busch was despondent after a poor performance at the qualifying race.

“He was verbally abusive to her and said he wished he had a gun so that he could kill himself,” the documents say.

Driscoll said Busch, 36, called her names and accused her of “having spies everywhere and having a camera on the bus to watch him.” He then jumped up, grabbed her face and smashed her head three times against the wall next to the bed, the documents say.

Driscoll says she pushed Busch away and ran from the bedroom, going to a nearby bus to put an ice pack on her head and neck. She said the incident caused her severe pain, difficulty breathing and bruising on her neck.

In a Thursday morning release from public information officer Carl Kanefsky, the Delaware Department of Justice said it “has carefully reviewed the complaint made of an alleged act of domestic violence involving Kurt Busch in Dover on September 26, 2014, which was reported to the Dover Police Department on November 5, 2014 and investigated.

“After a thorough consideration of all of the available information about the case, it is determined that the admissible evidence and available witnesses would likely be insufficient to meet the burden of establishing beyond a reasonable doubt that Mr. Busch committed a crime during the September 26th incident. Likelihood of meeting that high burden of proof is the standard for prosecutors in bringing a case. For this reason, the Department of Justice will not pursue criminal charges in this case.”

Wow. On Feb. 20, Busch was suspended by the sport after a Deleware family court found “it is more likely than now” that Busch committed domestic violence. Two weeks later, the Delaware DoJ finds no reason to pursue the case?

Kurt Busch with accuser, ex-girlfriend Patricia Driscoll.

Kurt Busch with accuser, ex-girlfriend Patricia Driscoll.

Many Black athletes have had similar alleged incidents dismissed, too. But they had holy hell leading up to the reprieve.

The general public looks at most of those instances as “athlete privilege.” What Busch has received is stronger than that. White privilege. He continued to compete on the circuit until two weeks ago, when a judge said he believed Busch did something. Prior to that, there were no picketers outside speedways where he performed.

Neither feminists nor women’s organizations made a stink, as they did with Rice, Mayweather and others. Michael Vick, who funded a dogfighting ring, was nearly overwrought with protesters. And yet, Busch drove on, as if nothing ever occurred.

The only objector to Busch’s alleged behavior is the person who wrote on his garage door, “Rice Rice.” That has been it.

Nothing from feminist or domestic violence groups. Busch has received a pass most Black athletes just do not get. Rest assured he soon will be back on a NASCAR track. There remains no grounds to not let him resume racing.

The double standard here is clear. But not surprising.

Back to top