In the last several days, we’ve encountered an onslaught of news regarding the sexual assault scandal at Baylor University. As I scathingly mentioned earlier this week, Art Briles was fired from his position as head coach of the Baylor University football team. Both Chancellor Kenneth Starr and Athletic Director Ian McCaw have officially resigned. It’s also been revealed that the Baylor administration actively discouraged sexual assault victims from reporting their assaults. Multiple football players committed felony rapes and were given both a literal and figurative Get Out of Jail Free Card. The whole thing raises a hell of a lot of questions. How did this happen? How did these people sleep at night? Should I rethink my liberal opposition to the second amendment? Sure, the dismissal of such prominent figures of administration is a nice start. But it’s just that—a start. This isn’t going away. Because in an absolutely disgusting twist of events, Baylor is not alone in their rape epidemic. Make no mistake. College football players are rapists.
Statistically speaking, if you take 100 random men, at least one of them is likely to be a rapist. Any 100 men. But how often do you run into a group of 100 men? A male show choir? A Mormon family?
A football team. Hundreds. Thousands of American football teams. Groups of 100 men. And one of them is almost certainly bound to be a rapist. Not because he’s an athlete. Not because he’s a football player. But because he is a rapist.
If I went to the mall today and randomly selected 100 men, one of them would be a rapist. Why? There is no why. Because rapists are monsters. Because they had shitty childhoods. Because they’re just wired that way. Because people suck. That’s just how it works. But I don’t usually partake in a random mall selection. I prefer art galleries. And we don’t often see groups of 100 men out and about. What do we see? We see football. Everywhere. Football is everything. And that’s where shit hits the fan.
We have our allegiances, our alma maters, plans to get our school mascots tattooed on our asses (just me? Cool beans). We love football. And there’s nothing wrong with that. Quite the opposite, actually. Because football is fucking awesome. We love football. We love our football players. We love them so much that we forget the all too important fact that they are, in fact, humans. We defend them blindly, typically to a fault. We use their 40 times as evidence of good character. When a player is accused of rape, what’s your immediate response? You can lie to a lot of people, but you can’t lie to yourself. So, tell me. Tell yourself. What’s your first thought? She’s lying. He didn’t do it. FUCK, is he gonna be out for the USC game?
We assume that false allegations are made for a variety of reasons: she was drunk and felt guilty the next morning, she wants attention, she wants money. And, sure, false allegations have been made in the past. In 2% of cases. By the way, let’s not forget how many unreported incidents we have floating around. I need more than one hand to count the number of women I know who’ve been assaulted–only one of the assailants was an athlete.
So, what’s the point here? The point is that football teams have rapists. You can read that again, go ahead. Football teams have rapists. College dorms have rapists. The big suburban neighborhood off of Main Street has a rapist. Football teams have rapists. It’s science. It’s humanity. It’s fact. So, let’s do something about it.
Art Briles getting fired is a start. Ken Starr and Ian McCaw resigning is a start. This entire investigation of the Baylor administration is a start. But, again, let’s not forget that it’s just that—a start. To something that should have never transpired in the first place. To something that should never occur on another college campus, in another football program, to another human being ever again. And if that’s to happen, if we’re really going to change the landscape of rape culture as we know it, then we need some help.
Take any group of 100 men, and you’re going to find a rapist. Take a college football team. One player is going to be a rapist. So, where are the other 99? Where are you guys? Because we need you. We need your help, and we need it now. This isn’t going away. This isn’t getting better. And we can’t stop it alone. We need you. So, be there. Help us.
Stop saying you got “raped” by that calculus exam. Stop laughing at that guy’s rape joke-that-you-know-isn’t-a-joke. Stop sitting there when you see him get far too handsy with that girl at the party. Because, as it stands right now–if things keep going the way they are–you have a choice to make. One in five women will be raped in her lifetime. Your grandma, your mom, your sister, your girlfriend, or your daughter. Who’s it gonna be? Who draws the rape straw? It’s your choice. Help or don’t. I guarantee that you’ll notice either way.