Penn State Sexual Assault Verdict: Victory of the Homophobes?

Jerry Sandusky

You have to wonder how much of the hoop-la over the Penn State sanctions can be attributed to simple homophobia.

Is it because the NCAA was totally grossed out at the thought of a football coach making out with a boy in the showers that they were moved to actually impose a sanction with some teeth?

After all, how many cases have we had nationwide of football and other athletic teams being involved with sexual assault of young women?  Can you think of any such cases where the top dogs actually took the victims’ side?

Penn State is different because it was a coach preying on underage boys. But how different is that, really, from team athletes preying on young women?

Certainly in both cases we have had many scenarios where administrators chose to turn a blind eye rather than discipline the offenders.

Generally speaking, sexual assault of young women is just boys being boys or men being men.

But sexual assault of boys by men is unmanly, and therefore deserving of major fines and sanctions.

What does it mean that the slide show published by The Huffington Post focuses especially on the horrified reactions of young women to the news that Penn State will be fined and have to forego its wins for more than the past decade?

Is the silent subtext that if women think this is over-the-top reaction to Sandusky’s sodomy, then it really is?

The truth is that American sports culture celebrates the cult of the male at the same time as it is rife with homophobia.

Clearly, Jerry Sandusky crossed the line and committed an unforgiveable crime against boys who trusted him.

Clearly no coach should be allowed to abuse his position of authority with either boys or girls.

But why is it that when girls are abused at the hands of sports teams, they face a tremendously difficult, uphill battle to get their claims recognized as legitimate in court, while when boys are victims, it’s really a crisis?

At its most basic, sexual assault is about the domination of the weak by the strong.  It really doesn’t matter so much what gender the underdog is.  I am as disgusted by the sexual assault of boys as I am by the sexual assault of girls.

I just wish I could say the same for our nation’s sports leadership.

It’s past time to clean up our act.

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1 Comment

  1. kenyatta2009

     /  August 1, 2012

    I’m glad that it was a very harsh punishment because it will serve as a warning to other programs that the NCAA is watching. I used to respect the Penn State program but that was before I learned of the massive failure that covered up this abuse. The next transition will be toward decency.

    Reply

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