I was just answering a video about this case on YouTube, and decided to go into a more detailed response, since I felt 250/350 words wasn’t quite enough.
The guy in the video, SupRicky06 (Chris Thompson) spoke of his outrage at some of the media’s sympathizing with the two guys that raped the drunk girl who were convicted. And my response was basically this:
In Sex Education we’re told rape is a no-no, and that “no means no.” But for athletes, the lines seem to blur because athletes are held to a higher value within the student body (or in smaller communities that depend on the sport, like in Friday Night Lights). And this is where things tend to go wrong.
We need to quit sweeping every misdeed or crime athletes commit under the rug. Just because Mike is the star quarterback or pitcher, doesn’t mean he can bully a girl into performing sexual acts with or on him. It doesn’t mean he can get away with beating the crap out of the nerdy kid or the homosexual he sits next to in English, either. We need to teach the future generations that there is no gray area when it concerns anything sexual. Consent is mandatory, and not some word we throw around to make people feel like they have a choice in the matter; because everyone has the right to consent.
We also need to teach them that a person blacked out from anything is not a reasonable device to relieve the sexual tension you’re feeling. It’s also never okay to have sex with someone who is so drunk they don’t completely consent. Also, you don’t need to rape someone, videotape this happening, take photos of the assault as it goes on, or get drunk just because you’re being pressured by your teammates. Drinking is also a consensual activity, and not really something you should be doing as sixteen and seventeen-year-olds. I know it’s been going on long before I was even born, but peer pressure has to stop somewhere.
I had to do a skit along these lines in my Health class my Freshman year of high school. It was me, an athletic guy (I’m not sure if he played any sports for the school), and some other guy. I was the girlfriend trying to convince her boyfriend (athlete guy) to hand me his keys because he was drunk and I wasn’t getting in the car if he was going to drive. The other guy was his friend, telling him that I was whipping him and that he shouldn’t listen to me. Usually in skits like these, you’re not taking them all that seriously. For me and this guy; whose name is Tim, this was serious business. Tim acted very stubborn, screaming at me that he wasn’t drunk, that I was being a whiny baby, and to get into the car. He threatened to kill my cat (where I broke character and said I didn’t have a cat) if I didn’t get in the car, and called me a whole bunch of bad names. I took this just as seriously (however nervous I was), and threatened him right back with calling his parents or the cops if he drove away. In the end I “took a cab,” and we broke up in the parking lot.
I personally think this conviction for these two boys is a good thing. Yes, the poor girl has a history of bad drunkenness and lying, but that’s no excuse to publicly humiliate her and rape her. I also hope it shows high school athletes across the country that just because you’re the star player of whatever sport you play, doesn’t mean rules don’t apply to you.