When the news broke that former ESPN anchor Erin Andrews was coming forward to accuse ESPN of sexual harassment, I felt like it was only a matter of time before we all knew the truth.
In fact, I knew that it would be a while before the world learned the full extent of what was going on at ESPN, so I was happy to finally see it finally come out.
But it’s not over yet.
Today, we’re talking about the first time a female athlete has publicly accused her male colleague of sexual misconduct.
We’ve seen countless examples of female athletes being called out for their behavior.
But there are still so many women who feel silenced.
Here are ten ways women are still not believed by the sports world, and 10 ways they should be. 1.
They’re still afraid.
I know this because I’m one of them.
My friend Amy and I were teammates at Ohio State and have been friends since we were teenagers.
But when we were at Ohio, Amy and her boyfriend would constantly talk about how bad she had it.
They would tease and berate me for my body, how I would get in trouble for taking my shirt off, and how I was an unattractive person because of it.
It’s still something I struggle with today.
And I’m still trying to understand why they would do it, and what they thought would happen if I talked about it.
When we were in high school, Amy had been bullied for being gay and was also harassed by a group of other girls.
The bullies told her that if she didn’t shut up, she’d get fired and lose her scholarship.
Amy was bullied even further when she was a freshman at Ohio University, and after she was expelled for fighting, her father was arrested for resisting arrest.
In the wake of these incidents, Amy went into hiding for two years.
After she left the home, Amy’s teammates found her and began to call her a whore.
Eventually, she filed a police report, which she says she’s still trying not to forget.
She was able to get a job at a local university, but it wasn’t long before her harassers started calling her “slut.”
Amy said that she was told by a school administrator that “the fact that a woman would ever come forward is a huge problem” and that she had to be careful what she shared.
The first thing she learned was that if you do come forward, you will be attacked for being “trashy,” or “too nice” or “whore.”
I’ve seen many people ask me why I didn’t report these kinds of incidents sooner, and Amy told me that her fear of being accused made her afraid to even talk to her friends.
I also think that Amy’s fear made her hesitant to talk about these types of things with other teammates.
So, I know Amy’s experience and that of so many others like her is a story of why women aren’t believed.
I hope that I can share a few ways I’ve learned from it.
And, I’m not alone.
I spoke with numerous other female athletes who told me the same thing.
And it’s clear that women still need to do more to be heard.
For example, when the New York Times reported on an incident involving NFL commissioner Roger Goodell and former New England Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez, many of those same women came forward to tell their stories and say that they were also harassed and bullied by the league and Goodell.
When the New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees was suspended after being accused of hitting a teammate with his car, many women started speaking out and demanding justice.
And last year, when former Notre Dame linebacker D.J. Swearinger came forward with allegations that the NFL and the NCAA were covering up sexual assault cases against players, many more women came out to speak out and demand justice.
In 2017, the first women’s sports team to win an NCAA title, the University of Alabama, became the first NCAA team to earn a berth in the national championship game.
But in 2017, women still aren’t safe.
The problem isn’t just the NFL.
It is the NFL itself.
When athletes are given an opportunity to be seen and heard, it’s often too late.
In a recent Sports Illustrated article, writer Kevin Clark highlighted the stories of athletes like former NFL star Aaron Hernandez and the high-profile cases of sexual assault in the NFL that have followed.
“I’m not saying that the issue is solely one of institutional racism,” Clark wrote.
“But we’ve also got to recognize that we’re dealing with a lot of very high-ranking people in our league that are willing to do anything for power.
They don’t care about the safety of the athletes, they care about making the game a safe place for athletes.
So while we don’t have the full picture of what goes on behind closed doors, we can start to understand that it is not an