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Domestic Violence and Sports

I never wanted to write an article on this topic in the hopes that the issue would just go away, but I think it is time for me to speak up. I am not a “feminist” in the eyes of the stereotype surrounding the word, but I do believe in girl power and I think domestic violence of any type is something that needs to be stopped. As a female sports fan, I find myself torn between two conflicting views. Some people criticize me for watching sports that “condone” domestic violence and sexual assault, while others tell me to put that aside and focus on the athleticism of the particular game.

Sexual assault cases involving college athletes is something that I have a hard time with. I feel that whenever there is a highly publicized case, the institution defends itself and athletes in a, almost hostile, manner towards people who have concerns. The institution should acknowledge the situation and try and figure out how not to be another statistic so that female fans don’t have to feel guilty rooting for their favorite team. Just like how I want the athletes to be better, so should their schools. No one wants to root for a team with disgusting policies.

In a recent podcast (embedded above), Katie Nolan and journalist Jessica Luther, discussed truly what it is like to be a female sports fan, and I couldn’t agree with them more. They explained how we don’t feel safe. I usually want to watch a game to clear my head and relax, but often times I find myself feeling guilty rooting for a team that has swept sexual assault under the rug. It definitely takes away from the athletes’ talent.

Violence

Paul George’s first defense of Ray Rice (via Twitter)

Our society is very strange when it comes to having a conversation about sexual assault on college campuses. We can’t be afraid to talk about what is going on. For example, Yale men’s basketball team captain, Jack Montague, was recently expelled from the institution due to a sexual assault accusation from 2014. Instead of the media covering how the school may have mishandled the incident, they are more concerned about how Montague’s expulsion will affect March Madness Brackets. Let’s not worry about how the team will be affected, but how female students will now feel unsafe and that there possibly could be more victims.

I write this not to group college athletes altogether, I understand they aren’t all guilty. I simply write this to keep the conversation going. We all need to keep talking and make a change.

Male or female you should check out Katie Nolan’s podcast embedded above

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