I am writing to say that I am disappointed in your coverage of the recent Duke men's lacrosse team rape scandal. After reading your article "Not your video ho" by Fiona Morgan (March 29), I could not find any mention of the other student athletes in other sports who have criminal records or have been accused of rape. Think about former members of Florida State University's football team. Or if that's no good, perhaps we could shoot closer to home and look at the records of former members of any one of UNC, Duke or State's basketball or football teams. Just because they're football players or basketball players--sports that make a lot of money for their schools and their corporate sponsors--does that mean they get an exemption from the moral outrage that the community should feel when they are accused or convicted of a crime? When Sheldon Williams was accused of rape (not convicted--accused) in high school, how did his potential future community of Duke and Durham react? I am sure that many people hoped he'd be found not guilty so that Duke could bring on another successful recruit.
I'm not saying that what happened at the Duke men's lacrosse team event wasn't outrageous and offensive, nor am I claiming that the actions taken thus far of shutting down the team have been inappropriate. What I am saying is that we as a community need to examine ourselves and the double standard that we are setting. We've already tried, convicted and hung an entire team. If we don't go up in arms this way for players of other sports or at other area schools, what does this say about ourselves? That it's OK for players of money-making sports to be rapists and criminals, but not OK for the other teams? Or, perhaps more controversially, are we saying that it's OK for black players to be rapists and criminals, but we expect more of white players?
Rape, and a culture that supports it, is unacceptable under any circumstances. I think the reactions of the community to this incident have been excellent. Let's just have the same reaction every time, for every sport, OK?