Based on the available information, athletes sometimes get preferential treatment when accused of sexual violence. Sometimes this is due to their wealth and influence, sometimes – to the inaction of law enforcement services. In addition, it is not uncommon for allegations of sexual violence to be false and occur because the alleged victims want to receive sizeable monetary compensation. For these reasons, allegations of sexual abuse by athletes are often handled carelessly and only when there is irrefutable evidence.
The case of Bob Hewitt, a famous tennis player, shows that athletes accused of criminal activity should be treated the same as ordinary citizens. Significant financial savings, fame, or even social services should not prevent law enforcement agencies from conducting a fair trial and criminals from serving their deserved punishment. An athlete who has violated the law should not have any advantages over other criminals. On the other hand, it is necessary to treat athletes who become victims of sexual violence more carefully and carefully. The recent situation with Olympic doctor Larry Nassar clearly shows how dangerous disregard for the words of potential victims can be.
This report examined two cases related to crimes committed by athletes or in sports. Tennis player Bob Hewitt has been repeatedly accused of harassment and harassment by young tennis players he coached. No serious measures were taken until, in 2015, he was found guilty of two cases of rape of underage girls and one case of sexual harassment (Darling et al., 2020). The first case of rape occurred in 1981, the second in 1982, and the third episode concerned the sexual harassment and assault of an 18-year-old girl in 1994. That is, thirty-four years have passed before the verdict and fair punishment.
The second case concerns Olympic doctor Larry Nassar, accused of rape and sexual harassment of more than one hundred and twenty underage female athletes. This scandal is one of the loudest in American sports history and is associated with the cover-up of coaches, the negligence of the FBI, and the distrust of parents in the words of their children (Smith & Pegoraro, 2020). It is necessary to be particularly careful about accusations of sexual crimes in sports to avoid such events in the future.
Darling, A., Pope, L., Mooney, J. L., King, S., & Ablett, G. (2020). Child sexual abuse in sports. The Truth Project Thematic Report.
Smith, L. R., & Pegoraro, A. (2020). Media framing of Larry Nassar and the USA Gymnastics child sex abuse scandal. Journal of child sexual abuse, 29(4), 373-392. Web.