Recently, Cubs shortstop Starlin Castro was accused of a sexual assault. As a Cubs season ticket holder and anti-rape person I was not happy with this development. He hasn’t been arrested yet and certainly deserves the presumption of innocence. He has been interviewed by the police and we’ll see how this shapes out. Arrested or not, you can get bet that a civil lawsuit will follow.
What made me laugh is that young Starlin had two attorneys speak out on his behalf right away. One is a very reputable, high profile Chicago criminal lawyer. The other is an out of state attorney who represents athletes. They came out with the following statement:
"We are aware of certain allegations that have been made against our client, Starlin Castro," the statement says. "We have thoroughly investigated this matter, and we are confident that these allegations are baseless. Given the sensitive nature of this matter, we cannot comment any further."
Really? They “thoroughly investigated” this? Well I’m satisfied. Surely the alleged victim agreed to tell them everything that happened and admitted she was lying. They aren’t commenting on it, but that must have happened or otherwise they couldn’t have possibly concluded this was a baseless allegation.
Of course these lawyers are just advocating for their client, but it’s really a bunch of nonsense. But apparently it’s worked because Castro hasn’t yet received a ton of criticism over this. Maybe this will change when the season starts and he’s subjected to taunts of fans, but it wouldn’t surprise me if this just goes away.
One of the reasons it will probably go away is that his attorneys really got out in front of this thing. You don’t expect your lawyer to be a PR agent and usually they aren’t. But in higher profile cases it’s not unusual to call a press conference or issue a statement. Sometimes it backfires (see: Blagojevich, Rod) but other times it works wonders.
So while on the one hand I think the statement is a joke and completely meaningless, the lawyer’s job isn’t for me or you to not think they are full of it. Their job is to look out for their client and if that involves spinning and deception, well isn’t that what public relations is all about?
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