Rape and the Sports Story: Some Observations for Sports Writers

The Sport Spectacle

Jessica Luther’s “Changing the Narrative” offers sports writers valuable guidance regarding the responsible reporting of stories about rape. It is full of good advice that should help sports writers to at least not make things worse. Luther’s excellent article inspired me to write out a few thoughts for the sports critic who wants to take their writing to a related, but slightly different place.

Given how often sports writers have to cover this kind of story, they might be wondering why “sports culture” has become synonymous with “rape culture.” Given the ubiquity of rape stories in sports news, perhaps it is time we entertained the possibility that sexual violence is not at the margin of sports culture, but is, in fact, at its center.

Some axiomatic observations:

Where there is segregation there is violence: Apartheid structures are enforced through violence. Radical segregation is enforced by terrorizing people. We need only look to the US’s history of lynchings…

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