Apr 112014 4 Responses

This Issue Shames Me More Than Any Other

I know it’s not everybody’s issue. It doesn’t necessarily outweigh every other issue. Some are most grieved by starving children or orphans or the hungry. But the issue I’m most passionate about is this one:

Our society values money, sports and fame more than women and children.

This should be our greatest shame. (See: How We Respond to Suffering)

It is the issue which most shames me.

It’s not a unique story. Another football player assaulted more women but no charges will be filed because our society values money, sports, and fame more than women.

Notice why the women didn’t press charges. They were afraid of the backlash they would receive from their college town. And rightfully so. American cities both large and small have proven on multiple occasions that we will blame the victims and excuse the perpetrators.

It’s true in everyday cases:

  • What does she expect wearing that?
  • What was she doing out at that time of night?
  • Why was she alone?
  • Why did she drink so much?

We say these things as though women ask for abuse, desire rape, and deserve mistreatment. Yet no matter what a woman wears, where she is, or what she has done, she does not deserve to be mistreated by a man. We should be a society where the expectation is that every man will take care of every woman when they are at their most vulnerable whether by the general circumstances of life or their own poor decision making. Yet we do not live in such a society. (See: What a Drunk Girl Deserves)

Instead we live in a society where every woman must be leery of nearly every man and especially in the times in which the woman is most vulnerable.

This is true in everyday cases, but it is much more true when the man can catch a ball. The bigger the stage, the greater the license the man has to use women with no negative consequences.

It’s time for this to stop.

Professional sports must stop it. They must stop paying, employing, and excusing male athletes who fail at the foundational level of what it means to be a man—to use your God-given strength for the benefit of women and children.

College sports must stop it. They must stop claiming to be about the student-athlete while actually only being about the money a successful football or basketball program can bring in. The mistreatment of women must be rejected by the adults in the offices and the athletes in the locker rooms.

High Schools must stop it. They must stop following the model of college and pro sports and put a greater emphasis on producing men rather than athletes.

Fans must demand that it is stopped. We must value women more than victories. We must show with our voices, money, and physical presence that we will not support a team which enables players to mistreat women.

Imagine if an athlete said of the fans what the women said of the community where they lived. Instead of the women being afraid of the backlash of what might happen if they pressed charges against a star football player, what if the star football players were terrified of mistreating a woman because they would be afraid of the backlash from their fans.

When that happens, we will know that change has occurred. (See: Sometimes It’s Better NOT to Play)

It’s a buried headline within the sports page that another football player won’t be facing charges. The story is only written because of how it might effect spring football practice. Meanwhile, in another college town there has been yet another bold announcement to every woman—if you get assaulted or abused, we will blame you and excuse your abuser.

This should cause us great shame. (See: This Is the Kind of Husband I Want to Be)

We have created a culture which values sports over women. And it’s time for it to stop.

For more, see:

A Dangerous Assumption About God’s Will

I Wouldn’t Sleep With You Either

What a White Man Knows About Racism

4 Responses to This Issue Shames Me More Than Any Other
  1. […] But expel a man the moment he uses his strength to harm a woman or child. (See: This Issue Shames Me... kevinathompson.com/football-can-protect-women
  2. […] She doesn’t deserve to be mocked, groped, or raped. She wasn’t asking for it. She didn&#... kevinathompson.com/what-a-drunk-girl-deserves

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