The Patrick Kane story keeps changing. Kane — the 20-year old winger for the Chicago Blackhawks — was arrested early Sunday morning in Buffalo, New York on charges of beating and robbing a 62-year old cabdriver. Kane and his 21-year old cousin gave the cabbie $15.00 for a $13.80 fare and, when the cabbie said he did not have $0.20 for change, allegedly hit him and took their money. Both young men were arrested and charged with several infraction including a felony. Kane was immediately chastised by Chicago sports media as another pampered and spoiled athlete who thought he could get away with anything.
I have to admit that I too was critical of Kane.
Beginning Monday, the story began to change. The attorney for the cabdriver came out and said the story was blown out of proportion. Then it came out that the cabdriver was driving on a revoked license due to possible DUI charges in 1999. Kane’s attorney said he client was guilty of nothing implying that it was his cousin who did the physical damage. (Blackhawk fans can understand this angle as Kane tends to shy away from avoid physical contact during a game!) It later turned out that the cabdriver locked the doors to the cab and refused to let the young men out until they paid him. (I think they call this kidnapping or unlawful restraint or something like that!)
My guess is that felony charges will be dropped and perhaps all charges dropped altogether. I have no idea what the legal drinking age is in Buffalo and there is no indication that Kane was drinking (although it’s curious they were in a nightclub area of the city). Since none of us were there that night, the real truth is blurred.
What is clear to me, however, is that Kane was guilty of bad judgement. No professional athlete with money, especially someone so young, should be out in a nightclub district at 4:00 in the morning. Only bad things can come of that. Does he have a right to be out? Unless he falls under local curfew laws, he has that right, but it doesn’t make it smart. There are plenty of men — and plenty of women — looking to take advantage of someone so young and so rich. I’m sure the Blackhawk higher-ups will sit down with young Mr. Kane and explain to him what life in the fishbowl called “Chicago sports” entails. I hope he will listen.