Rapist Derrick Rose and the Privilege of Professional Athletes

Derrick Rose. Star on the Chicago Bulls (recently traded to the New York Knicks). Thousands own his jersey. Thousands adore him. Growing up in the projects of Chicago, working on the thing he loves most: basketball. Landing himself into the National Basketball Association, as one of the best. An all-star.

Just over a year ago, TMZ released a report that Rose was facing a court trial. He and his two friends were being sued for an alleged gang rape of his ex-girlfriend in 2013. Jane Doe, the woman’s identity being hidden from the public eye, had endured a long and painful relationship with the basketball player. He had broken up with her multiple times because she would not consent to sending private videos and nude pictures of herself to him. The longest time they took a break, was when Doe told Rose she would not engage in a threesome with one of Rose’s close friends.

The night the alleged rape happened, Doe was asleep when Rose and his two other friends entered the apartment. According to ThinkProgress, “Doe claims that she woke up fully dressed and wet with lubricant. Her sheets were messed up; she had found some blood and there was a used condom.”

Kobe Bryant, one of the biggest names in basketball, had also been charged with sexual assault and rape at the age of 24. Yet people still buy his jersey and worship him every single day. Both stories are disturbing and downright sickening. However, I am noticing a trend.

These men are glorified everyday just because they play a professional sport. They are protected by fans, owners, coaches, and teammates. People get so upset when they lose a game, but when they humiliate someone? Ruin someone’s life? Nobody bats an eye. It’s sad and disgusting. How can people get away with this? Our priorities need to be set straight. Apparently gang rape, sexual assault, domestic abuse, homicide, and drugs are completely fine if you are a professional athlete, but sitting down is not.

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