ESPN put out an article on Chanel Miller, a woman who was sexually assaulted by Brock Turner, a Stanford swimmer behind a dumpster in 2016. She helped to start a new wave of a feminist movement, called #MeToo, which is a step towards keeping years of silence away from women who were sexually assaulted .
It was an article that my eyes wouldn’t attract off of. Something about it found me intrigued. As I read, Aishwarya Kumar, the writer strived to emphasize the struggle Miller obtained. She lived a life of duality, when her name was Emily Doe and Chanel Miller. She had to work harder to be silent in life than be who she was. It took years of pain to not be ashamed of who she was and speak out.
But one thing that stuck out the most in the article was the 6-month sentence Turner was given to a biased judge, recalled because of that biased because the judge went to Stanford. That reality, of giving someone who assaulted a woman and put her through years of pain and struggle 6 months in prison because they went to the same school as you blows my mind.
Turner also received a three-year probation on top of the sentencing. In the probation order, the officer considered the scholarship taken away. Again, this shows that the athlete is receiving less because he is an athlete. That has nothing to do with the justice being given. As mentioned in the article, it has become more about what Turner was losing, than what he should receive because of his despicable acts.
This was also shown when Gayle King, a reporter, mentioned Kobe Bryant’s rape allegations a week after he died in an interview with Lisa Leslie. She received death threats for bringing up the allegations. Now, besides the point of whether that is an extreme or not, it shows the defense mechanism the athletes have within the people.
A great point mentioned in the story is, “Crime has a ripple effect, sentencing has a ripple effect. It’s supposed to protect the victim — and by extension the community — and give people the courage to come forward with their story, to know they will be taken care of. And that this won’t be repeated in their society.” What is said there doesn’t apply to athletes and famous people. A 40-year old man raping 40 woman is looked as a creep. But then, when the most famous man in the world, allegedly assaults kids, half the world thinks it is made up and fake.
People are blind to facts and don’t use logic when it comes to their role models. As a society we lose integrity because of that. More people think about the best athlete in the world than the girl next door.
Now that is a normal thing for humans. We tend to defend people we have a connection with and use are feelings for them over the facts that are there. If your Mom is said to rob a bank and you know because you know her the best, she couldn’t do that, most people would defend their Mom, no matter the evidence. There would always be questioning. But, just because most of us do it doesn’t mean it is the right thing to do.