This article by no means reflect my feelings towards situations where Universities, governments or any empowered institutions rape culture or violence against women by ignoring evidence, blaming victims or covering up reported cases.
Let me begin by stating this, I love sports. They are a blessing to many. Those skilled and privileged enough to play on a professional level should be held to a higher standard than most because of the platform they are on. However, that does not mean they should be judged unfairly. When you hear, “athlete X was accused of/is under investigation for”, what comes to mind? I hope it is not that they should be punished. That is not to say athletes are not without their faults, but why do we assume they are criminals? Of course, if substantial evidence supports the theory that a player committed a felony or any other egregious act then that athlete should be suspended. In certain instances you can even justify the permanent removal from the sport, but just on the words of an accuser?
In America, we live on the principle that all citizens are innocent until proven guilty. For some reason we do not use that same ideal when viewing others as a society. When an accusation is presented, the media and the public, often vilify some of societies greatest icons. I think we as a society are moving into a scary situation where reputations are ruined before evidence is ever presented. Eventually that could make its way into are homes and communities. I, for one, am not ready live in a world where you can lose everything because someone who feels negatively about you chose to accuse you of a crime you did not commit. I believe this problem is correctable, but it starts with the media. They are directly responsible for how we view things and if they are going to incriminate athletes, or celebrities for that matter, before our judicial system does then we must make them change as an audience. That is writing and calling the TV station or newspaper, but most importantly, changing the channel or quit buying the magazine. Whatever medium it is, quit giving it your attention and change will come.
Now, I admit, there is no perfect solution. Some will get the benefit of the doubt when they should not, but I am not asking you to defend the accused! Just please hesitate before you make a finite judgement on them as a person. If you do not, you risk losing a lot more than a few celebrities. You risk losing the ideologies this country was founded on. You risk losing the ideologies, many of which still positively contribute to the world today, that allow us to call it the best place in the world. So think about that next time you hear about an accusation against, or investigation of, anybody.