Wednesday, December 24, 2014

In Florida, Football Has Priority Over Rape

Women in Florida might as well yell at the wall.
As Juliet Macur writes in her indictment of Florida State football in this morning's NYTimes (here), Seminole fans, graduates and followers probably need to take a shower after Heismann winner Jameis Winston's student conduct trial recently.

He was cleared of raping a young student--who since has left the university and gets to live with a rape for the rest of her life--by a kangaroo court in which his only defense was to hesitatingly say the young victim "moaned" while he violated her. The judge took that to mean she approved.

I have been working a story on rape for the past three weeks and the testimony and the treatment by the justice system in this case is a classic example of why women don't report rape. They believe with some justification that little will be done, that the police simply don't believe them (police officials tell me this) and that they have little or no chance of doing anything but embarrassing themselves publicly. In the Florida State case, for example, the perpetrator's lawyer released the name of the victim. At the very, very best that is unethical and deserving of action by the Florida bar. But, hey, this is Florida and football is football. You know, boys will be boys.

An investigation by The Times has found just about everything wrong with the pursuit of Winston as a rapist and the clear suggestion is that Florida law enforcement officials believe football success to be far more important than a young woman's safety on a college campus.

Florida is and has been a Third World nation for some time now in many respects, but this pushes it even deeper into that netherworld of greed and misplaced priorities. Somebody somewhere along the line needs to make some serious changes and I don't think anybody in Florida has that capacity. It took the NYTimes, for example, to investigate both the case and the investigation of the case, both shoddy and criminally negligent.

I will not watch the Florida State playoff game coming up on New Year's, but I will openly hope that Oregon and its outrageous uniforms treat the Seminoles as the (in)justice system in Florida has treated the young woman and as Winston treated her, as well.


  1. For the sake of clarity, I think it's important to point out that the young woman holding the sign saying "no means no" is wearing the orange and blue colors of the University of Florida Gators, not the Florida State University Seminoles (where Jameis Winston played football this year).

  2. Yes, this photo was taken at the Florida game. On the road Winston gets--and will continue to get, in the same manner Michael Vick is dogged on the road, so to speak--hounded (again, so to speak) for his shortcomings.