I would like to think that if Officer John A. Perreault had a chance to take back his actions of July 5th, 2012, he would. I’d like to think that he made an ‘innocent’ mistake, and that when he called Carl Crawford a “Monday” while Crawford was on a rehab assignment with the Portland Sea Dogs, he did not fully understand the usage of the word by those who like to think themselves much more clever than they are. However, according to reports, his words on July 5th were part of a pattern of racially charged statements that Perreault has made. He has previously been accused of making racially insensitive statements on at least two other occasions, so the evidence would seem to suggest he was well aware of the potential firestorm he was igniting.
Full disclosure demands that until I read about this incident between Perreault and Crawford, I didn’t know the word Monday to mean anything outside of the first day of the work/school week. It was a foreign concept to me that it was utilized by small-minded people as a way to express racist feelings, without (normally) dealing with the fallout that would be expected if the word that was substituted for had been used.
Urban Dictionary has seven different meanings for the word Monday, and the first five definitions are fairly innocuous. They are usages that I am not surprised that people use, and without having thought about it, I’ve probably utilized a couple of them in my own life. Monday is a day that catches a lot of flack from students, teachers, and the 9-5 crowd. Perreault and his attorney have tried to argue that he was using the word “Monday” as a substitute for “suck” or “horrible” with regard to Crawford’s play since he signed his mega-deal with Red Sox following the 2010 season. Compared to what he did in Tampa, Crawford has sucked for the Red Sox, as Crawford has essentially admitted:
“I can understand why people can be upset about me signing a contract and me having the kind of year I had. I understand. They love their team. They want you to produce when you sign a contract like that. I can’t be mad at them. All I can do is get ready to play this year and try to produce,” he said.
The point isn’t whether or not Crawford has underperformed, though, it has to do with Perreault’s use of language. There are 100 different ways that Perreault could have expressed his displeasure with Crawford’s performance, and not one of them would have resulted in anything more than his being tossed from the stadium, at worst; though it’s highly unlikely that would have occurred if Perreault had simply stuck to run-of-the-mill insults.
A few days after this incident went down, I had a conversation with a friend of mine, and we discussed the merits of whether it was feasible that Perreault may have actually been unaware of the street connotation of Monday, and we concluded that as a cop, it was inconceivable. Just like UrbanDictionary.com, as a cop he would have his finger on the pulse the of ever-changing vernacular of the public at large. It’s part of his job.
There are those who would argue that Crawford should toughen up, and just let things like this go. Those same people would likely argue that Perreault should not have lost his job over this incident. To those people, I’d suggest checking out the sixth definition of “Monday” at UrbanDictionary.com, and ask them if they’d be okay with someone calling them that, or if they were at the ballpark and that remark was leveled at someone else, because that was clearly the intent of Perreault. Perhaps if he had stuck to using that type of language only on the streets of Leominster, he would never have had any problems. It may not be right that this is only a big deal because he said it to Carl Crawford, left fielder for the Boston Red Sox, but it is right that it is a big deal. In this day and age, racial slurs should not be tolerated by anyone, for any reason. Those unwilling to at least act in a proper manner in public should suffer the consequences for their actions.
Do you think Perreault made an innocent mistake? Should Crawford have just let the situation pass by?
Let me know: