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When victims cry rape from athletes, everyone goes deaf

by on December 1, 2016

After reading this story on the UVA student rape case, I began to read more about the James Winston case at the University of Florida. After looking at the 2014 case, I was shocked how much blatant evidence was overlooked. Winston had more than one victim come forth and say they felt sexually assaulted. One victim even had a video for crying out loud. Yet, he still received the Heisman and was the top draft pick of the year.

It seemed like he was heavily defended. The coaches knew about the incidents in 2013 and kept silent. The police did not investigate, and the blatant video was disgarded like a piece of garbage. What is this saying about how universities handle rape amongst athletes?

I get it. For a Division I, top rated football program, the University of Florida has a great reputation at stake. That, along with the millions of dollars invested in the program and players, is a solid incentive for sealed lips.

In this conglomerate of football mania, top players far too often are glorified above all. They receive special treatment that “regular” people can’t avoid. If Winston were a non-athlete college student, I am pretty sure he would be tried (and possibly convicted) for a criminal offense.

The injustice in these kinds of incidents is tragic. Sadly, I do not see much of a solution to the issue.

 

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2 Comments
  1. I agree with your blog post, many times athletes are allowed to get away with things that many “normal” students would not. With such a huge reputation on the line, many times discrepancies are kept hush-hush and swept under the rug. This is an issue that has been going on for decades and not much progression has been made unfortunately.

  2. I think in many instances rape stories aren’t heard and with athletes there is an increased pressure, however I think on all survivors when they cry rape they aren’t believed. Sexual Assault is the most underreported crime and continues to be the most underreported crime because we continue to not talk about it. Sexual Assault falls on deaf ears in all cases. The Free Kesha verdict is an example, but you can argue that his popularity is another reason why he wasn’t detained. Look at this New York Times article: http://www.nytimes.com/2011/03/09/us/09assault.html?_r=1&scp=4&sq=rape&st=cse

    The author is still trying to make the survivor look like it was her fault by talking about how she dressed older for her age and was more promiscuous. I think using the stories with athletes is an example of how we can show that it’s not just these athletes, but all stories with sexual assault survivors not being heard. Our society has been built to deny every single rape survivor, ask what are you wearing, were you drunk, why did you make this decision?

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