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Derrick Rose, Who Couldn’t Define Consent, Is Acquitted of Rape


On October 19th, 2016, Derrick Rose, the man who couldn’t define consent, was acquitted in a civil trial in which he was accused of rape. It’s not that he had an inaccurate or outdated definition of consent; the man literally said he didn’t know what the word consent means. In case you are like Rose and cannot define this very simple word, here is the Merriam Webster definition: “to agree to do or allow something:to give permission for something to happen or be done”. I’m not sure about you, but if someone who was on trial for rape couldn’t define the very specific thing that rape is determined by, then that’s damning evidence that they are guilty. Despite all of this, and what you might think, Derrick Rose was acquitted, and the jurors couldn’t want to take pictures with him, as shown above.

According to the alleged victim, she was not in a proper state to consent to sex, yet Rose and his friends had sex with her anyway; Rose, on the other hand, argued that she had consented. There are multiple layers to this, but first is people’s misunderstanding of consent. While the alleged victim may have legitimately agreed to having sex with Rose and his friends, it is very likely that she was not sober and therefore could not have given consent. Unfortunately people start to think of the alleged rapist as the alleged victim and not the other way around: they will argue that Rose couldn’t have known she wasn’t sober and didn’t intend to rape her. In reality, that is completely irrelevant.

Rose may have not intended or known that he raped the woman, but that doesn’t take away from the fact that rape could have taken place.

The second layer is the celebrity of Rose. The jurors literally flocked to take pictures with the person who they just acquitted of rape, which doesn’t inspire trust in their judgment. The jurors, most likely fans of Rose and/or the Knicks or possibly just aware of his celebrity, were without a doubt biased. They had just determined him to be not guilty and proceeded to take pictures with him; it’s not rocket science, people. If the jurors were excited to meet the person on trial, then the alleged victim never even had a chance at justice. I’m not sure if it’s possible for there to be a completely unbiased trial against Derrick Rose, since he is very well known, but much more could have been done to vet the jury selection process.

And of course there’s layers on layers of privilege at play here.

Rose being a man, basketball player, wealthy, etc. all played a part in getting him acquitted for something that seemed to be a simple case to many.

The man could not define consent in a trial about rape. Rape is literally sex without consent, but Rose somehow argued that she consented even though he didn’t know what that was. There are a lot of things to be said about the justice system as a whole, but in this specific case, the alleged victim never stood a chance, and that’s disgusting.


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Etienne Rodriguez
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I'm an 18 year old social justice/culture journalist currently studying at Rutgers. I want to expose how injustice is ingrained in our culture and how people can use culture as a platform for change.

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