A Promising Pro-Football Career May Be Lost Because A Drunk Teen Consented To Her Rape

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Screen Shot 2013-03-13 at 10.08.12 AMThe trial isn’t set to begin for another half hour and already various news sources are writing flattering fluff pieces about the rising football star and accused rapist Ma’lik Richmond. ABC News is a big fan of Richmond, planning a feature on him for next Friday on the news program 20/20. From ABC:

Residents there follow the storied Big Red high school football team religiously. It is a program that Ma’lik, 16, had dreamed of joining and, on the night of Aug. 11, 2012, he relished the role he played in their first scrimmage win.

“I had two touchdowns and the fans were screaming and cheering,” Ma’lik told ABC News’ Elizabeth Vargas in an exclusive interview with “20/20” given a little more than a week before his trial, which begins today. “I was just thinking, ‘I just can’t wait for the season to start.'”


The article goes on to discuss Richmond’s promising football career:

As Ma’lik was preparing for his sophomore year in high school, his horizons looked bright. He had been selected to play for the Big Red football team and was eager for the season to begin. “Obviously, he’s very athletic,” Agresta said. “Academically, he does very well. He’s a good-looking boy. He’s a well-mannered boy. He had a lot of possibilities out there.”


And how the fact he has been accused of raping a 16-year-old girl may sort of mess things up for him.

Soon, his fate will be in the hands of a juvenile court judge in an Ohio courtroom. Even if acquitted, Ma’lik seems to believe his story will have a very different ending than the one it initially mirrored so closely, “The Blind Side.”

Elizabeth Vargas, shown in a video that accompanies the article, even went on to state that ” she might have even had a history of doing this kind of thing before.” Which sounds pretty victim-blaming to me, because if the 16-year-old alleged victim in this case has gone to parties and gotten so drunk she passed out before, raping her is obviously okay. I can have sympathy to an extent for Richmond, especially if he is found not guilty and it turns out that he did not assault this young girl. But what I can’t understand or have sympathy for is how no one is talking about the victim’s life, and how this case will affect her future. From having her photographs spammed all over social media by her peers who attended this party and the self-proclaimed “rape crew” to the numerous tweets that called her a “slut” and a “sloppy whore” to a 12-minute video where Michael Nodianos laughed his ass off over her assault and said she wasdeader than Caylee Anthony.” 

Richmond may no longer have a promising football career, but the young victim in this case, who is now being forced to testify, gets a lifetime full of post-traumatic stress due to this incident and how she was treated before and after it occurred. Whether she was raped or she consented to have boys digitally penetrate her while she laid unconscious on the floor, covered in her own vomit.

Maybe the issue is that we have no cinematic feel-good movie like the Blind Side to compare how the victim has been treated to the chance of the demise of Ma’lik’s football career. Maybe if we had a “feel-good” rape movie we could see news outlets having a bit more sympathy for a girl who has lost a lot more than the chance at a football career, including her dignity, privacy, and reputation.

(Photo: ABC News)