Brian Downing is the father to a precious baby girl.
Brian Downing is the husband to his college sweetheart.
Brian Downing is a proud University of Alabama alum.
Brian Downing is the cousin to Russell County Sheriff Heath Taylor.
Brian Downing is a graduate of Central High School in Phenix City, Ala. (Russell County), which is just across the Hooch from where I grew up.
For the past ten years Brian Downing been employed by Hibbetts Sports, but on Wednesday, Brian Downing joined the list of millions of unemployed Americans.
Brian Downing was fired after a video showing him acting the fool went viral.
Brian Downing unzipped his breeches at a Krystal’s Restaurant in the French Quarter and used his wanger to dry-hump the ear of a passed out LSU fan.
In criminal terms, Brian Downing sexually-assaulted the unsuspecting and never-awake LSU fan. That he did so in the presence and to the cheers of dozens of Bama fans speaks none-the-better for any of them. That he did so in a public restaurant and was never stopped says nothing good about the management or employees of Krystal’s. They ought to be fired as well. They should be kicked out of the university. Every single one of them. Every employee. Every onlooker. Every one who posed for photos with the passed out man. Or that put trash on his head. Or poured water on him. Or took videos of him. They all deserve the head-shake-of-shame and a citation.
It was his cousin, Sheriff Taylor, who, after recognizing Brian Downing on that video, called his cousin and told him to get his sorry ass down to the jail, right this minute. When Downing arrived, Sheriff Taylor chawed on his ear a bit, and then sent him packing to New Orleans, where he was charged with felony sexual battery and a misdemeanor and booked into the Orleans Parrish jail. He’s out now after somebody posted his $10,000 bail. I’d wager his wife did it just so she could chaw on his butt herself.
There is nothing, absolutely nothing humorous about what Brian Downing did. It was shameful. It revealed an appalling disregard for humanity, and is a testament only to the ways in which we humans can debase ourselves and others.
That dozens of others stood by, some with cameras in hand, and cajoled him on as Brian Downing straddled a man who was completely unresponsive speaks all kinds of things about us as a people. None of it good.
That this took place following Alabama’s rout over LSU in the BCS Championships excuses nothing. Lots of fans enjoy their football without imbibing. Thousands of people will drink with moderation. And there are those, even the drunk ones, who would never, ever do what Brian Downing and the Bama fans at Krystal’s did that day.
This isn’t a matter of imbibing.
This is a matter of character.
Brian Downing has none.
And neither do any of the witnesses who cheered him on that day, or who failed to intervene on behalf of the man being sexually assaulted.
Sheriff Taylor, who has the character his cousin lacks, told reporter Tim Chitwood of my hometown paper, the Columbus Ledger-Enquirer, that there are lessons for all of us in Brian Downing’s behavior.
“I mean, you think? Is there a lesson here?” Taylor said wryly. “I mean, boy, you go thinking that you’re going to have a good time and that you’re going to enjoy and celebrate the university’s great win, and the next thing you know, you’re facing a potential sex-offender registration for the rest of your life.”
Taylor said it shouldn’t matter that someone’s photographing what you do in public: “It’s about not doing that to begin with. That’s the issue.”
Our moral character.
There was a time in this country when people who lacked moral character were our social outcasts. They were vilified, and rightly so, for their criminal behaviors or for acting the fool. Today we give them their own TV shows and/or make them Internet celebrities. I bet Brian Downing has already been approached by the porn and/or entertainment industry with a lucrative contract.
From this point on the name of Brian Downing ought to evoke the head-shake of shame.
But shamefully, we don’t do shame in America any longer.
That old Roman playwright Plautus, regarded for his sense of humor, once said, “I regard as lost that man who has lost his sense of shame.”
And what of the nation of people who has lost their sense of shame?