Doc is just baffled. Where the fuck have we come from, if this is called progress? Was it so goddamn bad in the past? Was it that goddamn bad, that this world of entitled rapists and abusers and fuck-you douchebags can just run rampant and we think this is a better fucking world? How can we even begin to think we're better than we were?
I'll come back to that. First some news.
Minnesota Golden Gophers. Fuck sake fellas, come up with a new name. Now you're the Minnesota Turtleheads. Why not? Your football coach has one pokin' out. I'll get back to that too.
September 2016, a woman has too much to drink and ends up in bed with a Turtlehead football player. And his friend. Then a few more guys. Nobody stops it, nobody says goddammit guys this ain't right. In fact she wakes up in the morning and realizes she has no clue how many guys just had sex with her. She calls her mother, then goes to the police. The cops find out the first guy actually videoed the sex he had with her. Who the hell does that? Why? But the cops watch the tape, Jesus Christ they watch the fucking tape like a fucking porn movie and decide the sex was consensual.
Playful. They say she was playful.
So no charges are filed. Fine, I guess. Fine, like the thousands of sexual assaults that go unreported. Fine, like the insidious backlog of rape cases on file with police departments all over the country. Fine, like the fucking scum attorneys who claim they're all about due process for their rapist clients but who in the meantime rip the soul right out of thousands of victims on witness stands every day all over our country. Fine, 'cause after all, who the hell wants to press charges when she'll get dragged through the mud and the blood and the gore like that?
Fine, fucking fine, but hold on. Minnesota's Title IX enforcement gets hold of this, determines after a three-month investigation that the woman has suffered discrimination and harassment, reports it to the Athletic Director, and somebody -- thank God! Yes! Fucking finally, maybe we are in a better world today -- somebody finally does the right thing.
The AD suspends ten players indefinitely from the football team. The ten are accused of, variously, sexual assault, sexual harassment, and violations of the school's honor code. They are offered hearings on their suspensions, to be heard in January, long after the season is over.
Pictures and names of the accused are published. Only thing is, ummm... they're suspended for the Turtleheads' date in the Holiday Bowl against Washington State.
Seems like, as tragic as the event was for the woman involved, maybe the world is trying to right itself. Karma, the idea that our universe is always working toward balance and harmony, brings us toward a better place. Right? Yeah?
Wait a second.
The inexplicable happens. Out in front of the press microphones the following day, in place of the Turtlehead coaching staff bloviating about playing the Cougs, stand the Turtlehead players. They tell the assembled press that they will not be playing or practicing, in fact they'll skip the bowl game in protest of their brothers' treatment and lack of due process. They wax pitiful about the soiling of their brothers' reputations, their faces and names plastered out there publicly in a relentless barrage of shame from which they'll never recover. They tell the press that, to a man, all 102 of them are unified in this stance. They demand the ten players' immediate reinstatement, and apologies from the AD and the UM President. Strangely they left their head coach out of their demands. Wait, isn't he the one who suspended them... what, no?
Due process? A three-month investigation is not due process? You're willing to dump your team's and your university's reputations even further into the gutter because you think it's not due process to come to a reasonable conclusion after spending likely hundreds of thousands of dollars on an investigation into a night of douchebag activity by a bunch of entitled scholarship douchebags, and you're more concerned about the douchebags' reputations than you are about being accountable for your own damn commitment you made to your school in return for your scholarship and the privilege, yes goddammit the privilege, not the fucking entitlement, of playing for the Minnesota Fucking Turtleheads? It never occurred to you that if those douchebags were so concerned about their reputations, maybe they shouldn't have lined up to all jump in the sack with the same woman like they were waiting for a ride on Space Mountain? You're willing to go back on your commitment, fuck the boosters who have Holiday Bowl tickets, fuck the school, fuck Wazzu for that matter, and worst of all, spit once again, all 102 of you, on the reputation and lifelong recovery of the woman who was assaulted and harassed... all because you want to make a show of standing up for your brothers who should have gotten more due process than a three-month investigation?
Doc was fired up. This was two days ago. In a flash, Doc was writing the speech the University President would give, short and sweet, to the players.
"Gentlemen. We awarded you each a scholarship based not just on your athletic abilities but on your character. On your ability to shoulder the burden of representing the T-Heads wherever you go. We recruit men who can step up to a higher standard of behavior than the regular Joe. When we fail, when we're wrong about our men and those men fail us, when a foul rotting stain like this one is placed upon our university, there are consequences.
"I'm going to lay out a choice for you, then I'm walking out of here for fifteen minutes. Those who choose to return to the team, we will call this a lesson learned and you will get back immediately to prepare for the Holiday Bowl. Those who refuse to practice or play will join your teammates in suspension. You risk losing your scholarships and we may well have to recruit a whole new team. This university is ready to do that, and we refuse to back down from our standards. If there aren't enough of you to play in the bowl game, I'll call my friends at Northern Illinois and tell them to get ready.
"Fifteen minutes, gentlemen. Your call. Make up your minds."
By Saturday morning it seemed it may well have gone down exactly that way. The players backed down after seeing the details in the 80-page investigation. Their spokesman read a prepared statement. Sources said he was crying over it. And good for him and good for them that they did the right thing in the end.
But in the meantime, the coach -- remember the coach, the one absent from the controversy? He was found in the locker room on Saturday, trying to wash his hands of the whole thing. But like a bad skid mark, the evidence staining him was ugly, damning, and it wouldn't wash out. Not only did he have a turtle head pokin' out, but when he went off to do something about it he brought his toy Twitter phone into the pooper with him. Ladies and gentlemen, meet Tracy Claeys. Right here.
Good God. And what did he tweet, that Twitter tweeter twerp? Well, it was... So... Well shit, here's what he tweeted...
...so the gallant and brave coach had his boys' backs. Commendable. Also just so wrong.
The comments split down predictable lines. You could imagine the post-election wing nuts taking a break from posting about racists and crybabies, homophobes and snowflakes, to weigh in. They spoke of PC Title IX feminazis gone wild. They quoted the coach who wants a better world, where rape is OK. She was drunk, she wanted it. Don't blame the victim, you sexist fuck. Women lie about this shit, y'know. Minnesota's perpetuating rape culture.
Few mentioned the 102 special snowflakes in football jerseys, the ones who needed their safe space after seeing their ten brothers bullied by the school. To paraphrase Brock Turner's dad, why all this uproar over a few guys having a couple hours of fun in the middle of the night?
Back to Doc's first point way back at the top... Are we really better off today? Isn't this supposed to be a more culturally and gender-sensitive world? Aren't the expectations way higher today for understanding of what constitutes consent?
On our college campuses, apparently the answer isn't just no, it's hell no.
Here's where Doc starts crunching his brain and wondering about "in my day..." And in spite of our Neanderthal behavior, oh god we were assholes, we had no respect for women, we called 'em Kraks and hoggasauruses and hosebags. For proof see Misogyphobia. Seriously, we were dicks.
But Husky Crew in the 70s, wild and crazy as it was, drinks and women and rock and roll and to hell with reputations and the future and fuck Mike Lude and nobody worried about anything to do with morality... I mean help Doc out here, but can you imagine even a single one of our misogyphobic teammates being in that situation at a party and not saying hey, all you guys get the hell out of here, all you guys leave her alone? Can you imagine any one of us not wrapping her up in a blanket and making sure she got home safe the next morning?
And why would that be? Because the guy didn't want to lose his scholarship over it? Didn't want to get kicked out of school? Or get arrested as an accomplice? Can you imagine any of our horrible sexist teammates doing it for any other reason than it was just the right goddamn thing to do? Anything other than looking at what that gang of douchebags was doing and saying it was fucking wrong?
So the point is, what kind of douchebag puts himself in a situation like that? Not only that, he then calls himself a victim? Says it's all about political correctness, feminism, and abuse of Title IX?
Is this where we've come? Is this the kind of progress we've made in all these progressive years? It's great that there was a system in place at Minnesota to do something about it after the fact. But those douchebags still got into school somehow. Somehow a whole partying bedroom of douchebags decided it would be a gas, it would be no problem, no moral issue, to have sex one after another with a woman. Call it rape or call it consensual, what the hell kind of man does that? Why did the school let them in, all these men of high character? Why did they think it was OK?
And where have all these apologists come from?
That's the bigger question in all this. What the fuck kind of world are we living in? And after all we say we've done, have we really even changed? Or have we just gotten worse?
Yeah. Doc's discouraged. But there's good news for Tracy Claeys. If he gets fired, there's always Trump's cabinet. He has the skills.