The Duke lacrosse rape scandal continues, with two players arrested and charged. Regardless of whether they are innocent or guilty, something bad happened at that party, and one thing sticks out in my mind. Based on my own reaction and that of several commenters on this blog- none of us were surprised. At elite universities like Duke, Notre Dame, and Wake Forest, male athletes (especially rich, white ones) get away with a lot. I thought this article on ESPN.com makes some good points- these athletes received all of the benefits of their status without the intense scrutiny of basketball or football programs. The warning signs, like 15 of 47 players having arrest records, were ignored the by the coach, the AD, and the administration.
The incident reminded of an unpleasant encounter my friend Teri and I had with a few hockey players at ND. At the end of a night out, we hopped in the same station wagon taxi as a group of hockey players and decided to share it to campus. The guys were drunk and incredibly obnoxious, insulting the cab driver, a black man who looked to be in his sixties, shouting things like "shine my shoes!" and singing "I don't want to grow up, I'm a taxi cab driver" at him. Teri and I were growing angrier and angrier; we could hardly even believe what we were witnessing. When the cab stopped to let the guys out, one of them leaned over and said goodnight to Teri and me. Teri replied "I am ashamed that I am associated with you by school." The floodgates opened- the guy was like "What???" confused and angry, his friends all started yelling at us, and then I started in with a tirade that went something like "You think you're better than everyone because you play hockey? You think you can just go around treating people like crap and that's okay? Well, it's not, and you're all f#$ing a#$holes!" Then they retorted with something intelligent like "you stupid ugly bitch" and I yelled "at least I'm not a f^$#ing racist!" More shouting, then the guys ended up mooning us as the cab drove off. Teri and I were furious. Guys like that, who think they're better than everyone else, and have never suffered any repercussions from unacceptable behavior, who get drunk and mean when they're in a group, are the kind of guys who would end up raping a stripper.