In the last few months, it feels like there’s been at least one athlete every other week who is being arrested or charged with hitting, beating and/or raping a woman. This includes both college and professional athletes.
The first case was Ray Rice’s incident with his then fiance, now wife a few months ago. Greg Hardy followed suit when he beat up his girlfriend in May. Then, there was the football player, Joe Mixon, at Oklahoma State who punched a woman at a cafe a couple weeks ago. Also in the Big 12, two UT football players were accused of and released from the football team for raping a woman. The latest case comes in the form of former Miami Heat center Greg Oden punching his ex-girlfriend and formally charged Monday (today) with felony battery resulting in serious bodily injury, misdemeanor domestic battery, and misdemeanor battery resulting in serious bodily injury.
My question is: when will it end? Why do men think it’s okay to beat on women, especially ones they supposedly care enough about to be with intimately? Why aren’t women valued and respected?
And to my fellow females: Why subject yourself to this? If he hit you once, chances are he’ll do it again. So, why stay? Never underestimate your value or feel like you deserved it. I’m not just referring to physical violence, but sexual as well. No matter what anyone says, there is no outfit, attitude or actions performed that make you the cause of being sexually violated. There are many organizations and people who teach women how to prevent being raped, but what about teaching men and boys how to prevent raping?
The worst part is the lack of severity in the punishment of these athletes. If they are found guilty, sitting out two games isn’t enough. Being dropped from a team isn’t enough. Criminal charges should be enforced. If Michael Vick served time in jail and was dropped from the Atlanta Falcons for fighting dogs (he wasn’t the only one fighting them in that situation, by the way), how much more should you do to punish someone who violated a human life?
I don’t consider myself a feminist, but as a woman, I know my worth as I feel every woman should. No woman, or any person for that matter, deserves to be violated in any way, shape or form. The fact that rapes and domestic abuse situations are becoming more frequent show that something needs to be done. The time is now to crack down on this recurrent issue.
When the punishments begin to become more severe and people ignore the fact that it’s an athlete committing the crime, then and only then will men begin to think a little harder before they act.