Glorified Athletes in Ohio Charged with Rape
In the sports obsessed town of Steubenville, Ohio, the high school football team has brought the town much success and pride. However, the recent allegations of rape on two of the team’s star players have caught the attention of the entire country.
On a mid-August night, parties were happening all around the small town of Steubenville to celebrate the seniors venturing off to college and the end of a great summer. At most of the parties, alcohol was being passed out and many members of the Steubenville High School student body, including the athletes, basking in the drunken glory. However, for one young high school student, it was not all fun and games. It was reported that a 16-year-old girl was unconscious while being sexually assaulted for hours on end by multiple high school boys while others spectated. It’s like she was being passed around like a football.
Athletes around the world are praised for their talent and ability to make a town or school legendary; however, all of this worship has blinded the people from the truth. What has brought this particular rape case to the nations attention is the fact that people are sick and tired of pretending that athletes “can’t be rapists”. For instance, the famous boxer, Mike Tyson, was convicted of raping an 18-year-old girl in 1991 and was sentenced to six years in prison. Although Tyson received his punishment, he still continued with his boxing career and even appeared in films such as “The Hangover”. This just goes to show that athletes, especially triumphant athletes, are easily forgiven by the public for such crimes, simply because of their successful reputation. It does not matter who you are or where you came from, if there is not consent of the partner, than that is considered rape, point, blank, period.
What really grinds my gears about this case, and many similar to it, is that the town is supporting its players to the point where it is immoral. Just because a man is praised for his athletic ability to bring success to the team and town, does not mean he can get away with such a violation. Half of the town is saying that the victim’s allegations toward the players are just to make the team “look bad” and that it was her fault that she was assaulted because she was too drunk. Are you kidding me? These people are not caring for what is really important, the victim. The 16-year-old girl who was raped by two of the legendary team players is not getting the justice she deserves because the school is protecting its star athletes, which seems outrageous to me .
As you could guess, the young victim has been tormented and teased about the entire ordeal. People are forgetting that she is only a teenager and should be treated with respect and care. Her lawyer states that she is still very upset about the situation but is a remarkably strong individual. In fact, she has returned to her high school and earned a spot in the Honor Society.
What is even more shocking is the fact that fellow students are playing along as well, some even recorded videos of themselves viciously joking about the rape and how “dead” the victim looked because she was unconscious. This brings me to rapes and sexual assaults that happen all too often and are generally unreported because young women are seen drinking at parties and pass out and then men at these parties see that as an invitation to sexually assault them because they are unconscious. As we all should know, no means no, but what if you are drunk? Well, the law states that if you are drunk you can not legally consent to having sex because you are under the influence. .
Now, with this knowledge, I encourage you to be aware at parties, not only for yourself but for others too. If you see any sort of behavior that could escalate to violence, try and defuse the situation before it starts. Check in with peers, make sure they are OK, and don’t put yourself or others in vulnerable positions. For more information on how to prevent such assault and violence, check out the Green Dot program created by students and staff at the University of Kentucky
Green Dot Program