Tony Gutierrez/ STF

College Football And Rape Culture: A Conspiracy Of Silence

By Sydney Mahl

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On Saturday, November 5, Baylor wore black.  They were mourning the tragedy on campus.

Not the 17 victims who were sexually assaulted by 19 football players over the past five years.  Not the lack of any discipline for the rapists and assaulters.

No. They mourned the firing of football coach Art Briles: the coach who looked the other way.

In a statement released, Nov. 11, Baylor University confirmed that Art Briles knew of at least one gang rape involving five football players.  He didn’t report the assault.

Parents and students alike wore black shirts that read #CAB – Coach Art Briles.  A table sold the shirts before the TCU football game so more could have the opportunity to support the coach who condoned sexual assault.

$20 for a short sleeve and $25 for a long sleeve.

Anything For A Win

Our culture cares more about a season record than a woman’s life. Scratch that, many women’s lives.  We’ve proved it time and time again.

There was Jameis Winston, quarterback for Florida State University. The university was quick to cover up his two rape accusations. FSU settled with the first victim out of court for $950,000.  To this day, as an NFL quarterback for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, he maintains it was consensual.

University of Minnesota received reports that a woman had been raped by four football players.  The school allowed the players to resume participation, but court restraining orders held them at bay. The orders do not allow them to be near the victim’s apartment or her place of employment, TCF Bank Stadium, where the Golden Gophers play on Saturdays.

Don Hill and Osa Masina are linebackers for USC.  They’re currently under investigation for drugging and raping a woman – not once, but twice.  In the search warrant, it is also detailed that they took photos and videos during the assault, sending them to the victim’s ex-boyfriend.  The team originally had them set to play in the season opener, but decided to send Hill and Masina home.

Progress, I suppose.

#CAB or #RAPE?

But when we examine Baylor, we see a school rejecting their Christian ideals – the same ideals that led Baylor to ban dancing on campus until 1996.  Now fathers and mothers, brothers and sisters, can proudly stand up in support of sexual assault.  Because that’s exactly what they’re doing.

Every time a person wears the black shirt emblazoned #CAB, it might as well say #RAPE.

That’ll be an extra $5 for the new letter.  $25 for a short sleeve.  $30 for a long sleeve.

The women became victims not once, but three times.  First, during their assault.  Then when they attempted to report it, Baylor officials and both campus and city police manipulated and threatened them.

They were told it was simply their word against the players’.  They were threatened with the school telling their parents they were drinking underage at a party before the assault.  They were asked what they were wearing.

And finally, they were victimized a third time when Baylor’s fans stood up in their black shirts.