On August 11 of 2012, Ma’lik Richmond and Trent Mays raped a 16-year-old high school girl who had drunk too much and passed out. Their friends took pictures, texted, videoed, Youtubed and tweeted the rape as it was happening. Then they dumped her in a pool of her own vomit and left her naked.
But since this was a football town and both Richmond and Mays were star athletes, nobody was going to do a damn thing about it. Several school officials tried to sweep it under the rug because, you know, she was drunk so why ruin the bright futures of two of Steubenville’s finest players?
Once the story broke nationally, the town reacted by accusing the victim of being a slut who was asking for it.
This is pure Rape Culture 101.
Yes, you read that right. The ruined futures of rapists. Nary a word about the victim because who gives a shit about her, right?
Well, just to rub salt in the wound, Richmond, after serving just 10 months, is back on the football team.
Think about that: In a town where sports were so important that they rallied around two athletes caught on camera sexually assaulting an unconscious girl, they put a rapist back on the team. The fact that he was a star athlete and the town catered to his ego 24/7 is what led him and his “rape crew” friends to abuse this girl in the first place. But so what? This is sports, baby!
Some people are calling for Richmond to be expelled from the school. I don’t think destroying his future by denying him an education is called for. On the other hand, I find the idea of rewarding him with his former status as an athletic rock star to be repugnant. But maybe his story will be a lesson for the other players. Maybe it will help them avoid making the same mistakes.
In other words, next time they rape an unconscious girl, none of them will take pictures. Go team, go!