George Diaz: Tony Stewart entangled in cyberspace rage

It seems everyone has blossomed into a racing and legal expert after Saturday night’s tragedy on a dirt track in New York
Aug 13, 2014

Tony Stewart is a murderer and should be in prison…

Tony Stewart is a good man and just an innocent bystander in a tragic tale of racing chaos…

Please stop. My head hurts.

Communication in the cyberspace age requires no entrance exam, logic or basic grammar skills. All you need is a computer and a cyberstage name like “IHateAllPeople23.”

It seems everyone has blossomed into a racing and legal expert after Saturday night’s tragedy on a dirt track in New York, where Kevin Ward Jr. was clipped by Stewart’s car and died shortly thereafter.

Emotions have gotten in the way of due process, civility and common sense.

There’s an angry mob screaming on one side of the fence that Stewart let his ornery disposition get the best of him and hit Ward purposely.

There’s another angry mob on the other side defiantly defending Stewart, pointing to a dark amateur video clip that shows Ward getting out of his car and getting in harm’s way after he was taken out of the race by Stewart on the previous lap.

Stewart has been deemed a racing terrorist and should immediately be deported to Gitmo, if you listen to some of the noise out there.

Jay Mariotti, a former Chicago-based columnist, opined in an article: “Known throughout his controversial career as a volatile, reckless bully who lets nothing interfere with his thirst for winning or desire for attention, Stewart will have difficulty defending himself in a criminal investigation.”

“Throw the book at Tony,” the headline screams.

Let the banter continue: It’s a culture of road rage! Congress should intervene in NASCAR’s business! (But this wasn’t a NASCAR sanctioned-race!) Stewart should be parked immediately by NASCAR! The kid got what was coming to him!

How about we all put our weapons of mass destruction down and agree on something?

This is a horrible tragedy. Veteran NASCAR writer Monte Dutton said it better than anyone in two words:

“Nobody wins.”

Kevin Ward’s family mourns the loss of a 20-year-old kid chasing his passion for racing. Stewart is grieving, too, big-time. It remains unclear whether he will race this weekend in Michigan. If people like Mariotti are going to make the ridiculous connection that the accident was intentional by profiling Stewart, then let’s establish the compelling evidence that goes the other way:

Stewart, ornery disposition and all, has a huge heart.

Example: Shortly after finishing 41st in the Daytona 500 in 2013, Stewart went to a Daytona Beach hospital to visit fans injured during a Nationwide Series race the previous day. A horrific crash on the last lap scattered debris into the stands, injuring a more than a dozen fans.

That doesn’t make Stewart Mother Teresa. But Saturday’s incident doesn’t make Stewart Jack the Ripper, either.

“Not everybody has all the facts,” Brad Keselowski said during a conference call Tuesday.

But why deal in facts when you can just lob firebombs into the air, regardless of the collateral damage?

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