Late Wednesday night Baltimore Ravens safety posted an Instagram story. In the video, the 31 year old NFL player told everyone that he would be on TMZ in the morning, that there was a “domestic issue” with his wife Nina. He then went on to say that they were now on good terms, that this was no one’s business but their own and “stuff like this happens”.
It does speak volumes of the generation in which we currently live that the first place my mind went to was that this would be a case of domestic abuse. We, too often, have seen cases where athletes who who compete in bloodsport exhibit acts of violence off the field. This case however, was something different.
Here’s a recap of the news story for those who haven’t been following (further analysis follows):
It would appear that after an argument Earl Thomas’ brother Seth picked him up at the former Seahawk safety’s home. Later that night Nina Thomas then logged into her husband’s Snapchat account and saw a video of Earl Thomas with another woman and then used Snapchat to track down her husband. It was at that point she took Earl’s 9mm Beretta and went to the AirBnb where Earl and Seth Thomas (Earl’s brother) were in bed other women. Nina Thomas, obviously upset, held the gun inches from her husband’s head and also pointed it at the women in the AirBNB and threatened them. When the cops arrived Earl Thomas had wrestled the gun away from his wife but Nina Thomas who procured a knife from one of her friends, with whom she arrived on the scene, chased her husband around a vehicle.
The police arrested Nina Thomas for burglary of a residence, intent to commit aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and family violence. Earl Thomas was not arrested. One of the women who was at the residence with the Thomas brothers had shot a video with her phone that showed Nina Thomas pointing the gun at her husband from less than a foot away. According to police, Earl Thomas corroborated this story.
Prior to heading to the AirBNB, Nina Thomas removed the clip from the gun and wanted to use the gun to scare her husband. She was unaware that the gun had a bullet in the chamber.
So we can begin at the obvious place, this could have gone far worse than it did. Nina Thomas was angry, and she had a loaded firearm and held it to her husband’s head. Above all else, the scandal, the laughter, etc; we need to feel relief that this isn’t a cautionary tale of gun culture. People can debate laws from either side of the political spectrum and that isn’t my intent here. The facts are that Nina Thomas held a gun to her husband’s head in anger. The idea that gun violence is an appropriate reaction to resolving disputes is terrifying.
Now, circling back to how we were initially made aware of this story. Earl Thomas tried to get ahead of this story by posting that there would be a story breaking on TMZ. He asked for support and mentioned that the events, having occurred in mid-April, were no one’s business but his own. Overall, in the list of things that are sub-optimal, this is probably the best course of action. Earl Thomas tried to control the narrative. This may have been effective if the narrative wasn’t bat-shit crazy.
Earl ended his post with the sentiment: “stuff like this happens”. Unfortunately I can’t agree. I can’t think of a similar situation happening to anyone, ever. There are so many questions that I’d love to ask. Were the Thomas brothers in the same bed with women? Did they sleep with the same women (are the brothers now Eskimo Brothers)? Has Earl Thomas been naked in a bed at gunpoint before (since these things happen)? Is Seth Thomas terrible brother? Honestly, if it were my brother asking me to get him out of the house so he could cheat on his wife I would have been the one to verbally and physically attack him for being so stupid.
Perhaps, I simply do not understand their marital dynamic as the two have seemingly reconciled and Nina Thomas was praised after her arrest by her husband for buying him a diamond pendant with a picture of his grandfather. Earl’s grandfather, with whom he shares a namesake, was a pastor. Thomas, has spoken publicly about how much his grandfather meant to him.
This also happened in a period of time where the people involved should have been quarantined due to the proliferation of the Coronavirus pandemic. Perhaps it was unclear to the members of the Thomas family that quarantine regulations do not allow for an orgy and a public disturbance involving weapons. It, in fact, does not call for anything public at any time.
News on this is developing as it appears that the Goins Law Firm who represents Nina Thomas has issued a statement that she denies all allegations of this story. This seems like a strange stance to take given the fact that her husband confirmed the story and there is video evidence of her holding her husband at gunpoint. She also did not deny taking the gun with her to “scare” her husband.
Her statement basically indicates that she has been Earl Thomas’ girlfriend since high school, she name drops Michelle Obama, and makes some bizarre statement about doing something for her community around thanksgiving. I get it, I love getting cookies from my neighbors around the holidays. It doesn’t seem that this would be a detail that would exonerate her. Instead, it comes off as something you would use to pad your college application if you had terrible grades or a laughable SAT score. Sorry Nina as delicious as your salted caramel chocolate chip cookies may be, I don’t think they will help you in a wrongful imprisonment case.
In the end we are laughing at the details (while funny), of a situation that involved violence and adultery. This may have an impact on the last days of Earl Thomas’ career and their family life. In this game there are no winners. Well, I guess you could say the winners are the lawyers who put together the aforementioned statement and are probably working on a sizable retainer.