“I tell you, I gotta plead ignorance on this thing, because if anyone had said anything to me at all when I first started here that that sort of thing is frowned upon… you know, cause I’ve worked in a lot of offices, and I tell you, people do that all the time.”
Jason Alexander as George Costanza, Seinfeld’s Red Dot episode
I work in the service industry. It’s generally a close-knit, high-volume environment with a lot of physical contact between co-workers. It’s just the nature of the beast. While corporate and privately owned establishments will (or at least should) teach their employees about the dangers of sexual harassment in the workplace, it’s not entirely uncommon for the service industry to be a wee bit more informal when it comes to touching.
As a general rule, I’m not one to slap someone’s ass but I’ve had it done plenty to me, from both customers and fellow employees, both male and female.
It’s never really bothered me. Besides, I’ve never been one to run to H.R. with a complaint.
A little ass-grabbing is not entirely uncommon in sports either. Watching baseball as a kid, it was rare if you didn’t see one teammate slap another on the ass as an attaboy. If a manager didn’t pat a pitcher on the tush as he strode off the mound, there was probably something wrong.
Oddly enough last week, we saw two high-profile athletes get involved in a little grab-assing in the workplace that reminded us there might sometimes be consequences..
The always in the news Cleveland Browns and former LSU wide receiver Odell Beckham, Jr. slapped the wrong person on the ass on Monday night right after his alma mater celebrated a national championship.
Here’s how it went down.
Louisiana State football players were celebrating what many pundits have called the greatest single season in college football history. I’m not here to argue the verity of that statement but one can certainly make the case. On their way to a championship, they scored more single-season points than any other team in college football history. Their quarterback accounted for 60 touchdowns (and only 6 interceptions) on the season. They also beat seven ranked teams on their way to an undefeated 15-0 record.
In their Superdome locker room after the game, some of the LSU Tiger football players decided to light up cigars after beating previously unbeaten Clemson. Authorities were alerted that there was smoking going on in the building and immediately went into the locker room to reconnoiter.
Odell Beckham was one of the people in the locker room, celebrating with the kids in the uniform he once wore. He also was seen giving money to some of the players. Say what you will about Beckham’s philanthropy but that wasn’t even the dumbest thing he did that evening. Odell also gave a handful to a uniformed officer.
I’ll be honest. When I heard that a warrant had been issued for Beckham’s arrest after slapping a police officer on the rear end, I assumed it was a female officer… until I saw the video.
It was not a female officer.
A male police officer was in the LSU locker room asking those with lit cigars to put them out. Beckham, who was ecstatic that his team had won a championship, and probably in a gesture as if to say leave the kids alone, gave the officer a pretty good wallop on the rear.
Never in the history of butts or law enforcement has goosing an officer who is trying to do his job been a wise idea. There is now a warrant out for Beckham’s arrest. The Louisiana governor has since pleaded with Beckham to turn himself in who, at this point in time, might just get off with a healthy fine… if he’s lucky. Note: the warrant has since been rescinded.
Here’s the video of the incident.
Later that week, ironically involving another Cleveland athlete, Cavaliers center Tristan Thompson was ejected for slapping Grizzlies’ Jae Crowder on the ass as he crossed in front of him at the free throw line.
Apparently, both Thompson and Crowder have a history of jawing at one another. If you’re into NBA fisticuffs, you may want to circle the next Grizzlies-Cavs game on your calendar as you’re bound to see some fireworks… and probably a little less-grab-assing, but I suppose these days you never can be too sure.
Odds are I’d never slap a police officer or a seven-foot tall black man in the ass but I’m sure if I did, there would be consequences.
I’m not sure what’s going on in the water in Cleveland but it certainly is causing its athletes to be a little touchy-feely. Or perhaps they are better suited for the restaurant industry.