Stop Using Athleticism To Justify Rape
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Politics and Activism

Stop Using Athleticism To Justify Rape

When the sport comes first and the crime comes last, the jury has already decided.

Stop Using Athleticism To Justify Rape

Ex Stanford swimmer Brock Turner. Former Vanderbilt football player Branden Vandenburg. Loyola University's golfer Benjamin Holm. At first glance, this may appear as a list of college athletes. In reality, this is a list of white college men who have been charged with the rape of innocent women. Every time you see a headline involving rape and a college athlete, the latter title comes first. When reporters place the school and sport before the actual crime, they are distracting readers from the actual issue. This is a public relations mind-trick employed to humanize the perpetrator while normalizing rape culture across college campuses.

By listing the man's accomplishment before his heinous act, it provides protection. As if to say, "boys will be boys" because an athlete cannot be held responsible for raping an unconscious girl, or holding the video camera while his friends do. Maybe he was too tired from his early morning practice to know right from wrong. Maybe there was peer pressure from his teammates to break laws and break lives. This mentality demonstrates the acceptance of rape culture and diminishes the severity of this crime. Providing these men excuses is the last thing this society needs. They need jail time that lasts longer than three months (if it even happens at all). They need to understand that just because they think they are a superstar on their campus does not guarantee immunity. Being an athlete should be a symbol of leadership and morale, but instead becomes an alibi for getting away with evil.

When did it become acceptable for society to value sports more than the safety of women? It seems that the world consistently sides with the male athlete over the woman for a variety of reasons that are incomprehensible. "She was drunk" and "did you see what she was wearing?" are not excuses for sexual assault. It does not matter if the man plays a sport, runs a club, commutes from home, shared his math notes with you that one time, or bought you a drink: no means no. Just because someone plays a sport does not change the meaning of the word. As a society, it is time to stop cushioning the blow of rape culture by using titles to defend the guilty.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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