Ahhh Springtime- it is one of the most wonderful times of the year. The snow is melting, the weather is warming, and basketball is on every channel BECAUSE MARCH MADNESS IS HAPPENING.
Confession: Was not a huge College Basketball fan until I met my boyfriend #HayMatt. I mean I loved College Sports in general and I liked basketball but I would have never turned on the TV to watch the Madness. Well Matt’s obsession has rubbed off on me and now I am a full blown fan. And by that I mean I cried when Michigan State lost and my bracket was busted.
This year’s March Madness I have found especially fascinating because of the events surrounding a certain team: Yale. I know Ivy Leagues and Sports aren’t supposed to mix but hey it happened.
Yale made it into the tournament for the first time since 1962 which in and of itself is crazy. They then went on to create one of the biggest upsets of the tournament beating 5th seed Baylor (Yale was a 12th seed team).
All of this however has been overshadowed by another issue, an issue that is popping up all over US College Campuses and seems to FINALLY be an issue that is taken seriously. Joe Biden at the Oscars level of serious. That issue is sexual assault on campuses.
Yale’s former Basketball captain Jack Montague was expelled from the College in February. It was the second semester of his senior year. Montague was convicted of sexual assault by a panel formed by the administration and the school expelled him.
Montague’s says it was all consensual, and his lawyer says this case is just being used to make an example. Shocking on both accounts. (Sarcasm FYI).
Montague’s teammates all did the mature thing and wore his number and nickname to a game against Harvard after he was expelled and then promptly had to issue an apology when the Yale administration said not cool.
The school has kept quiet and has not said much in terms of an explanation of the dismissal — as has his accuser, who has not publicly come forward. Because of this a lot of the media’s attention has swung towards Montague and his lawyer.
Last week Montague and his lawyer announced they are suing the school. He believes that Montague is being used as a “whipping boy” to be made an example of after years of the university failing to properly handle rape cases.
He mentioned all of the other times Montague and his victim had consensual sex. Because we all know consensual sex once means consensual sex for life right?!
And today Montague’s old high school coach released a statement in the form of a letter saying he believes Montague and stands with him. He compared what is happening with Montague to the Salem Witch Trials so somebody should probably tell him that while witches aren’t real sexual assaults very much are.
Now none of us know what actually happened between Montague and his victim- I understand that. But lets look at facts: 1 in four women will be sexually assaulted during their time in College. Women often return to their abusers as part of a cycle of abuse. And only a small number of rape accusations are false claims. There are also a small number of false claims for crimes such as burglary however we would never question someone who has just been robbed with “But did you hang out with that person before?”
All of this does one thing and one thing only: it makes it harder and scarier for sexual assault victims to come forward. Look what happened to Erica Kinsman. She came forward publicly and has been consistently slandered by the public while her rapeist has been chosen for a Pro Bowl pick and number one draft spot.
Duke beat Yale this past weekend ending their March Madness run and so hopefully the conversation will soon be refocused on what consent actually means.