17 September 2015

Sexual assault and sports: Reframing the Derrick Rose conversation

The sports arena, particularly men’s sports, is a great container to discuss many social issues as it relates to masculinity and gender-based violence with men. The “off the field” situations that professional athletes constantly bring onto themselves is magnified by the incredible cultural and capitalistic machine of sports media. This gives us many opportunities to discuss important issues like men’s violence against women. The Derrick Rose situation is no different.

In short, a woman has anonymously come forward with a lawsuit stating that Rose and 2 of his friends drugged and raped her in August of 2013. More details can be found by simply googling Derrick Rose. (More details here, here, and here.)

This isn’t the first (and unfortunately, won’t be the last) time that a high profile male athlete is accused of rape. We have some evidence of what conversations around these stories are like, so I would like to take a moment to respond to some of the common responses that I hear.