Women's Issues

Steubenville Rapist Returns To Football Team, Because Who Cares About Rape Anyway‏?

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Ma'lik-richmondIt looks like all of the reporters and news outlets that were devastated and sad for Ma’lik Richmond after his life was changed irreparably last year when he was found delinquent of raping a 16-year-old girl had nothing to fear after all: he’s back on the football team in his hometown of Steubenville, Ohio.

If you need a quick refresher, both Richmond and fellow “Big Red” football player Trent Mays were convicted of raping a high school girl while she was incapacitated at a party. Because they are garbage people, they and their fellow “rape crew” circulated a bunch of pictures and hilarious texts about the incident. In one particularly nice video, a former Steubenville baseball player, Michael Nodianos, commented on how dead she looked  and how she clearly deserved to be urinated on. I tried to watch the entire thing, but frankly it made me pretty nauseous.

Lest we all forget, there was a prevalent attitude by most of the residents of Steubenville surrounding the trial and the events leading up to it; that the entire thing was blown out of proportion. The girl was a liar, or a slut, or just deserved what she got because she was drunk.

Pretty much all of the sympathy was reserved for the two young men who were found guilty of rape and sexual assault when they digitally penetrated her, ejaculated on her, and urinated on her without her consent or even caring whether or not she was coherent enough to notice.

This is, as they say, just boys being boys.

For his part, Trent Mays only expressed remorse via text message that he hadn’t “actually” raped her (since everyone thought he did) and Richmond wept when he heard he had to go to a juvenile detention center for a whole year, reportedly telling his attorney that, “My life is over. No one is going to want me now.”

No one but the Steubenville High School Football team, it would appear.

Letting Richmond, who is now officially an adult sexual offender back onto the team and into the High School classrooms is to accept and even endorse his crime, even if it doesn’t go against the letter of the law. In a comment for WTRF, who reported on Richmond’s return here, Jefferson County Chief Probation Officer Fred Abdalla Jr. told reporters that:

“There’s no law against it that states he can’t play. There’s no OHSA rules that they’d be violating, then I think the boy should be allowed to play. Ma’lik Richmond has done everything the court has asked him since he’s been sentenced.”

Well, that makes it better, then. Except it doesn’t. All it does is tell the rest of the kids at Steubenville High School that rape isn’t necessarily wrong – it’s getting caught that complicates things.

I would like to say that I’m shocked and horrified, but I’m not. I’m angry, sure. But mostly I’m tired. I’m tired of hearing about all of the new and creative ways people think up to endorse and even encourage rape. I’m tired of hearing about how boys will be boys. I’m tired of seeing these girls dragged through the dirt and then discarded in favor of ensuring that the people who rape them have as smooth a transition back into their charmed lives as possible.

Ma’lik Richmond’s victim wasn’t insulated the way that her attackers were and continue to be. No one protected her.

I’d like to congratulate the town and particularly the athletic department of Steubenville. They have one of their star athletes back, and his presence doesn’t break any laws, except the ones of human decency. Well done.

Hopefully going down in history as a bunch of rape apologists and enablers is completely worth it, assholes.

(Image: Twitter)