The details of this case came to my mind as I read about the ongoing saga in Steubenville, Ohio. On August 11, 2012 several parties were thrown for the teenagers of Steubenville High School football team. Hours after the string of parties, Twitter posts and Instagram photos began to crop up on the web. It didn’t take long for the residents of the tight knit community to take sides.
Mind you, these are high school students, nowhere near the age of legally imbibing alcoholic beverages, much less being able to procure it for themselves. Please keep in mind that only a handful of students were named, even though more than two dozen people stood by and watched but did nothing. Should I even mention the adults? These kids were in HOMES with PARENTAL supervision. Yet … nothing was done.
And now the case has snowballed into the realm of unbelievable. Only two boys were charged with rape. Why? Well, it would depend on who you believe. Even though there is a YouTube video of the boys boasting over their actions, and several pictures circulating, a good portion of the town either does not believe the allegations or blames the girl for bringing it upon herself.
Hubbard, one of the 19 coaches for the Steubenville High School football team said, “The rape was just an excuse, I think. What else are you going to tell your parents when you come home drunk like that and after a night like that? She had to make up something. Now people are trying to blow up our football program because of it.”
Yes, the alleged rape, YouTube video and pictures are all part of a conspiracy to derail their football program. All this negative publicity is hurting their beloved team, a program which has far reaching ties in the community: including ties with the county prosecutor and the judge in charge, both who recused themselves from the case because of their ties.
So I sit here, watching the drama, but not in shock. America idolizes the most bizarre people and athletes are at the top of the list. It starts early; where the boys are made to believe they can do no wrong as long as they win under the Friday Night Lights. Just read about the scandal at W.C. Mepham High School and how long it took the perpetrators to be suspended from school, much less charged with a crime.
It continues in college, where they are given special treatment. Everything from a coach lying about a murder to boosters supplying prostitutes to false academic records so the athletes remain eligible to play.
And of course, when these athletes make it to the big time, they truly believe they are invincible. Just think about Ben Roethlisberger and Kobe Bryant, both accused of rape. Both settled out of court. Or maybe Ray Lewis, who avoided a murder charge by testifying against his co-defendants. No one did anytime for the murder of two people. And there’s Leonard Little, who killed a woman while he was driving under the influence and did a whole 90 days in jail for her death.
If you think athletes are not given special treatment, just imagine if you were charged with some of those crimes. Do you think a rape accusation can go away just because of who you are? Can a murder charge be reduced with no imprisonment? Do you think a fatal DUI incident can go away with an apology?
Think about that.
For more information on the Stuebenville case, click HERE.
to view the YouTube in question, click HERE.
To learn about the scandal at W.C. Mepham, click HERE.
For the top college scandals, click HERE.