We still have no idea of what took place between Patrick Kane and a woman at his home in early August. But what has happened since then has reinforced the idea that Kane was right to take part in the Blackhawks’ training camp and beyond.
He has not been charged with a crime, and through all the silliness that has accompanied this case, Kane has managed to come out looking like an adult. That’s a far cry from the early days of the investigation, when people were quick to jump on the idea of another professional athlete acting badly. That’s not to say he’ll be cleared of accusations that he sexually assaulted the woman. We have very few details. But in the battle of public perception, he seems to be winning.
When I say “public perception,’’ I’m not talking about those Blackhawks fans who would back a gasoline-drenched Kane – or any other Hawks player – in an arson investigation. I’m talking about rational people with no emotional investment in the case. They see the bizarreness of this entire episode. They see the embarrassing news conference called by a lawyer who claimed to have a tampered evidence bag and the apparent hoax by the alleged victim’s mother. They ask themselves why a grand jury investigation hasn’t moved forward.
This is why you’re innocent until proven guilty. Facts are necessary. We didn’t have them at the beginning of the case, and we still don’t many of them now. There’s a victim here. We just don’t know who it is. We might never know.
Patrick Kane has every right to be at work. The rest of it is up to the legal process, as it should be.