Kurt Busch Situation Could Put Danica Patrick In Tough Spot


Mike DiNovo-USA TODAY Sports

The investigation into domestic assault allegations against Kurt Busch is still ongoing in the Dover area. The last news in regards to the matter was that Busch spoke with investigators last week, was 100 percent cooperative and still is adamant that any such incident never took place. As the investigation continues the truth of the matter will eventually come out and if Busch did indeed do anything wrong one would have to assume that he will be brought up on charges.

I am not here to condemn Busch one way or the other because at this point there simply are not enough facts. It’s easy to say that women are the victims of domestic abuse far too often in this country and that when there is smoke there is fire. While in many instances that is the case, there are also plenty of times where false allegations have been made as well. Instead, I want to look into the future and ponder what (if any) impact this could have on Busch’s teammate Danica Patrick.

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Let’s start with the easiest scenario and that of course is that Busch did nothing wrong and the allegations are false. Obviously if this is the outcome than talking about Patrick is not needed as there will be no impact. However, if this isn’t the outcome things could get more interesting when it comes to Patrick.

For starters, Patrick is obviously a woman and that is where the potential for all of this comes into play. Whether you want to hear this or not, sex will play a huge factor in the ripple effect of this situation on NASCAR. If Busch is not 100 percent cleared of any wrong-doing there is going to be even more of a media backlash than there already is right now and Patrick could find herself at the center of that media storm. If Busch is found to have done something wrong (and let’s be honest, any level of striking a woman is wrong) will there be pressure on Patrick to take a stand as a prominent female athlete?

If it comes to light that any of the allegations are true one would have to assume that NASCAR will take some sort of measure against Busch, as they should. However, there will be a point when Busch returns to racing and when that happens Patrick will still be his teammate. Can Patrick stay on the same team with Busch if there is any belief that he assaulted a woman? Some have already called for NASCAR to suspend Busch and that is based on a report being filed, this situation would explode if charges were actually filed.

Again, I am not leaning one way or the other when it comes to Busch as the information to make such judgements simply aren’t available. That being said, it’s important to not overlook the role of Patrick in all of this should anything negative come out of these allegations. In all of the other sports where there have been domestic violence issues there has never been a woman this close to the situation. Whether it is right or wrong nobody is going to demand that a player on the Baltimore Ravens or Minnesota Vikings quit the team in order to not play with Ray Rice or Adrian Peterson respectively. The same thing can be said for any new team that either of those players might end up on. This not happening is not because players like Joe Flacco aren’t role models; it’s because they are male athletes.

Patrick being a female athlete in a male-dominated sport will put her in a tough spot if it turns out that her teammate is guilty of the acts he is accused of. If he is in the wrong and Patrick remains on his team is that sending the right message to her female fans? Is it even Patrick’s responsibility to appease those outside of the sport that would want her to make some sort of a stand in that situation? It’s also not known if Patrick would be able to do anything contractually if she wanted to not be associated with Busch on SHR.

There are still a lot of questions left to be answered when it comes to Busch but if any of those answers are not definitive no’s than life might become interesting for his teammate Patrick. Do you think that Patrick would have an obligation to do or say something as a female athlete if it turns out Busch did something wrong or it’s strongly perceived that he did?

Christopher Olmstead is the Editor of BeyondTheFlag.com on the FanSided Network. Follow us on Twitter @Beyond_The_Flag and “Like” us on Facebook.