This is not a story I want to write about. But I feel dirty ignoring it.
I’ve read a lot about the story involving alleged group sexual assault of a dancer by members of Duke’s lacrosse team and I’ve noticed several themes.
Prejudice. Racism. Sexism. Classism. And a heckload of legal jargon.
And those two transactions are footnotes in this ongoing story. Every day the news makes the saga more confusing and somehow creepier. I thought the story couldn’t get any nuttier when The Smoking Gun got hold of an e-mail from Duke lacrosse player Justin McFadyen to his teammates:
To whom it may concern
tommrow [sic] night, after tonights show, ive decided to have some strippers over to edens 2c. all are welcome.. however there will be no nudity. i plan on killing the bitches as soon as the [sic] walk in and proceding [sic] to cut their skin off while cumming in my duke issue spandex.. all in besides arch and tack please respond
(41 is McFadyen’s jersey number.)
Yes, it got weirder than that. This week, it was learned there was no DNA evidence linking any of 46 tested lacrosse players to the dancer. So now the lacrosse team’s lawyers are proclaiming obvious innocence for their clients, while I’m hearing from prosecutors (not necessarily those involved in this case) that many similar cases have had no matching DNA evidence.
OK, my head officially hurts.
I know I’m supposed to have some kind of clear stance on this — hell, I’m a sportswriter. This shouldn’t be hard, right? I should be condemning the actions of the lacrosse team. Or I should be shaming the accuser for throwing around false claims.
C’mon, Matt. Pick a freakin’ side.
Sorry, conscience, I can’t. There are too many complex components of this case to make a judgment from afar. It’s compelling yet twisted, mysterious yet pungent. And that’s what makes this story so interesting. But somewhere between the lacrosse party and the resignation of the coach, this story ceased to involve sports.
Now it’s a legal affair, which means I know only one thing: I didn’t do it.