Scanning through Deadspin today, I happened upon this headline:
“Georgia Cuts Recruit Accused of Choking Girlfriend Outside A Waffle House”(link)
But what captured my attention wasn’t that yet another star athlete was being accused of domestic violence, but that the Waffle House location made it into the headline. It seemed obvious to me that this is a dig by the writer at what a trashy this situation is. If the athlete had been accused of choking his girlfriend at her home, or at their school, the headline would have just read “Georgia Cuts Recruit Accused of Choking Girlfriend.”
Further, it’s likely that I wouldn’t have even clicked on the article if it hadn’t mentioned Waffle House. The location of the crime made the story more clickable, which made it more likely to go viral. Which makes it more likely that Georgia would feel pressure to react.
In other words, the alleged criminal will be punished more severely (and before he gets his day in court) by committing his crime at a location perfectly suited for punchlines.
Other locations that would have likely garnered the same reaction?
“Star Athlete Accused of Choking Girlfriend at Church”
“Star Athlete Accused of Choking Girlfriend in Maternity Ward”
“Star Athlete Accused of Choking Girlfriend during Anger Management Counseling”