Alabama fan Brian Downing has been arrested. The 32-year-old — allegedly — was caught on video sexually assaulting a drunken LSU fan in a Krystal in New Orleans after the BCS title game. The video went viral and that was that for Downing.
He was booked on charges of sexual battery and obscenity. For those who didn’t see the video, a police statement says Downing was taped: “placing his genitals on an LSU fan’s face. The LSU fan appears to be heavily inebriated and practically unconscious.”
This whole story is sad.
It’s sad that Downing would find it fun to degrade another human being — as far as we know a complete stranger — in such a way.
It’s sad that someone found the video funny enough to post it on the web.
It’s sad that a whole host of Bama fans were laughing it up, egging Downing on, and trying to involve themselves in the LSU fan’s humiliation.
It’s sad that not one person in the video — not Downing, not the other fans on hand, not a single Krystal employee — tried to help the drunken LSU fan. No one thought: “Hey, this is wrong.” No one.
It’s sad that one of our readers has so little compassion that he read our initial story on this subject and emailed us this response: “Hey, you pass out near Bourbon Street, you get what you pay for.”
It’s sad that several websites have jumped on this as though it’s a major news story, when in fact, it’s just a story about a sex act. It’s salacious and that sells. If it weren’t frat-boy funny, it wouldn’t have become as big as it did.
It’s sad that Alabama fans are now represented in the national consciousness by Harvey Updyke and Downing. A tree-poisoner and a tea-bagger. The vast majority of Bama fans and their school deserve better.
It’s sad that the SEC — thanks to the likes of Updyke, Downing and the Cam and Cecil Newton affair — continues to look as if its motto is “Anything goes!”
All that said, I do believe Downing should face justice for what he did. If for no other reason than to take someone so heartless, uncaring and insensitive off the streets for a little while. I also believe those people seen laughing and engaging in the LSU fan’s abuse should receive some form of comeuppance for their own callousness. Where’s “Seinfeld’s” Good Samaritan law when you need it?
It’s an odd world we live in. Many frat boys out there will think I’m a humorless, bleeding heart for not going at this story with gusto. For not “getting the joke.”
Others — in my view, people who were raised right — will see this episode as a complete failure on the part of Downing and his cohorts to care for their fellow man. Be that man drunk, homeless, sick, or even an LSU fan. At some point, shouldn’t someone have shown basic human concern for the guy passed out on a table at Krystal?
I just don’t get any of this. I don’t think it’s funny. I don’t see how others think it’s funny. And to put an old twist on this, I’ll betcha if the person being assaulted in the video was the son, daughter, wife, husband, sister or brother of some of the folks who have laughed at the video… they’d stop their laughing pretty damn quick.