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Where is the outcry on behalf of the victims?

[Third in a series on the football "hazing" incident. Parts I and II here and here]

Newsday's Paul Vitello heads to the pizza shop on the corner near Mepham High School, which is home to the sodomizing football players.

He first encounters the pizza man himself, who waxes nostaligically about his football playing past:

"You only get one shot," said Louis Merando, the owner of Luigi's, who calls himself pizza man, "and I'm thinking how I would have felt if they had taken that one shot away from me."

Why is it that when interviewed about a current news event, most people - instead of talking about the event, per se - will respond with only how they would feel if they were in that situation. Pizza Man makes no reference to the fact that no one on his football team had a pine cone stuffed where it doesn't belong. No one on his football team, 45 years ago, was raped.

You only get one shot is a fallacy. All three kids who participated in the rape of their teammates, and all the players and students who knew of the incident, knew who the perpertrators were and didn't report any of it, they will, sadly, get another shot.

They'll still play football and probably succeed at it. There is no shortage of colleges and universities around the country who wouldn't hesitate to recruit a kid who has been tainted by the accusation of having raped his teammate with a golf ball, provided that kid looks like The Next Big Thing.

The other kids involved will go on with their lives and eventually the hazing incident will become just a footnote to their high school years; they will probably scribble cryptic notes about it in each other's yearbooks come graduation time. They will graduate, go to college, get jobs and, with any luck, come to that point in their adult lives when they look back upon what they were part of and begin to live with the guilt and shame that should be theirs right now.

Like this young man, for instance, who hopefully will have these words come back to haunt him some day:

"It's atrocious what happened in camp. I'm not saying it wasn't," said the former captain of wrestling. "But you can't take football away from the entire team. The football captain, the kid on the front page of Newsday [Friday] with his hands up in the air - the nicest kid you ever want to meet - he's beside himself. I mean, my God. He's captain of the football team! Do you know what that means? It's like being class president!"

Such a nice kid. So nice, in fact, that he refuses to tell the truth about his team mates, the ones who are the real victims in this horrid scenario. How the above quoted student gushes over the football captain is, quite frankly, sickening. I would like to take that boy by the collar, shake him around a bit and say "My god. Rape. Sodomy. Do you know what that means? It's like being scarred for life!"

And lest anyone think I am putting too much emphasis on the victims of what was, according to some, just a school hazing, let me say that the victims are being raped again and again, metaphorically speaking, every time one of these idiots opens their mouths to protest the treatment the football team is getting. How must these young boys feel, knowing that, instead of students marching out of school to demand the criminals face charges, to demand accountability from their class mates, the students instead are marching in support of those responsible for their rape? They are bemoaning the loss of their football season, the loss of possible scholarships, and no one is even talking about the victims. No one.

Pizza Man says: "If they'd done that to me, I'd never have my memories." He's talking about cancelling the football season. And what if they raped you, Pizza Man? What if they sodomized you in front of the whole team and no one reported it and you had to get surgery to repair the damage and not one person in the school, not any of the parents even, stood up for you but instead supported the team? What kind of memories would you have then? Would you even want them?

Here's a charming quote from a player: "Some people are just gay!" said one boy who claimed to be a member of the football team, but who wouldn't give his name when approached outside the school Friday. "They got caught doing [things], and now we all have to pay for it!"

Vitello then tried to interview two girls coming out of a 7-11 by the school:

We're not allowed to talk," said one.
Who won't allow you to talk? she was asked.
"The ..." she started to say.
"Shut up!" said a friend, pulling her away.

The teachers? The football team? The parents? Either way, the silence is damning.

And still, no one talks about the victims.

[I am having half a mind to pose as a reporter and cover this story myself, if just to put myself at ease a bit by finding students and/or parents who actually feel sorry for the victims, not the criminals. I just may....]

TrackBack

Listed below are links to weblogs that reference Where is the outcry on behalf of the victims?:

» The what, indeed? from Inoperable Terran
Michele has more appalling reactions to the football team hazing up in New York.... [Read More]

» Jocks being manly again from Dodgeblogium
It's referred to as hazing by some, but, in fact, it's just rape and abuse. Funny that the jocks who responded to my piece on sports callled me a poof. Does the expression "repressed" not ring a bell? This sort... [Read More]

» Friday Night Lights from Third Kind
Michele Catalano at A Small Victory is doing a great job covering a recent incident at Mepham High School in which members of the football team were sodomized by their teammates at camp. She has a series of posts on... [Read More]

» Friday Night Lights from Third Kind
Michele Catalano at A Small Victory is doing a great job covering a recent incident at Mepham High School in which members of the football team were sodomized by their teammates at camp. She has a series of posts on... [Read More]

» Raping the junior varsity from joannejacobs.com
Michele at Small Victory has been following a horrible story: At a summer training camp, three New York high school football players sodomized junior varsity players with broom sticks, pine cones and golf balls while team mates looked on. One... [Read More]

» The Cul-de-Sac for Monday, September 29 from suburban blight
Welcome to this week's edition of the Cul-de-Sac, my weekly quest to find out just exactly what bloggers in my neigborhood have on their minds. This week brought the addition of two new items: first, I made a little Cul-de-Sac... [Read More]

» The Cul-de-Sac for Monday, September 29 from suburban blight
Welcome to this week's edition of the Cul-de-Sac, my weekly quest to find out just exactly what bloggers in my neigborhood have on their minds. This week brought the addition of two new items: first, I made a little Cul-de-Sac... [Read More]

Comments

I think if you directed a few newspaper editors to your blog, you would be hired as a reporter. You have already covered this incident better than most of the real reporters already.

Your "what about the victims" section of each article is true not only of this incident, but of many crimes that happen in our society. From the little high school football player to the woman raped at lunch time in the park, all the way up to the cadets at the Air Force Academy.

Our society as a whole appears on the surface to be quite selfish. It's always the same old story. What about me. Why do I have to suffer because something happened to someone else? It's never about the real victim.

Have you ever wished there was a way to go back to the early days of our history? When criminals were simply hanged by the neck never to be a danger to society again? I often do...

So now the violated boys are 'gay'.

As far as we know, none of them even talked - it only became known when one of the boys had to have surgery! And do you think that kid won't suffer further because the facts got out there anyway while he was in the hospital.

They were threatened with violence, and now their manhood is questioned - it's their fault the pine cone found its way up there.

And here we have Mr. Captain and the cheerleaders protesting the cancellation of the football season. Beautiful.....

You're right, Michele, the violation of these kids continues with the words and actions of these 'people'.

I'm pessimistic about your chances of finding sympathetic folks around there. I'm pessimistic about a platoon of detectives and reporters finding any.

WG, LI

Are =any= criminal charges being pressed? I expect civil lawsuits, but money isn't the same as jail time.

my suggestion if you do pose as a reporter is to ask all the football players "so just how long has this secret homo s&m society been around? have ALL past football players from this school been queer?" i'm sure they'll chime in with "we aren't gay!!" you shoot back "you knowingly stuck something up another guy's rear.....and nobody seems to think it was wrong or that you should be punished for it. so if you aren't condemning the act, then you must approve of it right? that all adds up to homoville in MY book."
personally i think a few homo accusations will encourage some of these players and even ex ones like pizza boy to condemn the actions.
i know this sounds like playing dirty, but the actions of these little punks are hardly clean to begin with.

actually, Michele, you already are a reporter. You don't have to pose as one. :-)

It's a form of tribalism I've never understood.

If someone in my family or clan does something heinous to someone to whom I'm unrelated, I'd feel sad that they made that choice and I wouldn't stop loving them, but I would never in a million years try to turn it around to them being the victim. And I certainly would not try to get them off with minimal or no punishment.

I've always been against hazing in general, but if you're going to do it, you have to know that felonies do not magically become OK just because you have the "permission" of the victim.

hey jimmy,

That's a great idea! Mepham's totally queer football squad. Talk about your 3-point stance!

WG, LI

This team should be happy they're getting away with the cancellation of the season. A friend of mine came from a school where something very similar to this happened, and the entire team was banned from playing any sports or joining any honor societies for the rest of their time in high school.

And we're not even talking about criminal charges.

Selfish selfish selfish people.

The developments in this story make me sadder and sadder for the society today's children will grow up in. One without any modicum of personal responsibility.

I see it everyday, in so many ways, and don't know how to make it better. Except hope that Darwin's natural selection takes care of a lot of it.

I have to wonder if the news coverage of this story is much like the coverage of the smoking ban. The reporters look for the morons and only print comments like "Next they'll ban coffee and doughnuts." I know there are plenty of idiots on the street, but are the reporters knowingly targeting them or are the reporters themselves morons? Either way, it is just sad and frightening that there are people out there that think that way.

Just for clarification as to the "gay" comment, and for those who don't have teenagers...
In teenspeak, "Gay" has now become an expression which means "stupid, dumb, silly, etc". Instead of saying "You are such a moron", kids say "You are so Gay".

The student in the article was not making reference to the sexual orientation of the players - he was expressing his dismay at the cancellation of the football season. Typical teenage self-centered response.

They didn't get away with it in New Zealand http://onenews.nzoom.com/onenews_detail/0,1227,103228-1-7,00.html

A couple of things. First I agree with the tone of your posts completely. The way people shift blame now is so frustrating. I would ask this question to people that believe it's not a big deal for this to have happened because it was just hazing. What if it had been cheerleaders that were assaulted? What if to be a cheerleader you had to go through hazing from the football team, and 3 freshman girls had objects shoved in their rectums? This would a totally different story because the victims were girls and the attackers were boys. Even if they didn't rape them themselves, but used objects no one would question what it was. The victims being boys doesn't change anything in my opinion. If someone overpowers you and forces something in your rectum, you've been raped where the person doing it was the same sex as you or not.

Second, the quote you're attributing to another kid about how nice the captain is. That was still the pizza man talking I think.. That's how I read it anyway. If anything that's worse. We have an adult worried about memories instead of rape victims.

Why isn't it an option to hold these rapists to the letter of the law and still have a football season?? I don't see the correlation as to why the entire team has to suffer because of these three rapists. Is sticking our heads in the sand going to make this go away?? What about next year's season?? Aren't 30 or so of the same JV kids going to be there next year?? What about other sports?? I bet most of these kids are on the wrestling team, baseball team, and basketball team. Should all of those programs be canceled too?? How about school newspaper?? Glee club?? Marching Band?? I don't get it!

I have a hard time beleiving that the entire Varsity and JV team watched these kids get raped. Everyone is standing behind this decision that was made by a board of education that has failed to protect its kids. A board of Ed that has already had to settle a 90's lawsuit for similar (although less brutal) events. Why not show the victims and their families that we will hold these bastards responsible and we wont let them ruin the way we live our lives. Sound familiar??

The boy who was warned in advance should definitely be tried as an adult. The others...I don't know, but their punishment should be substantial-something that will leave vivid memories for the rest of their lives. The lawsuits against the perpetrators should result in substantial financial loss to their parents. (If anyone thinks the parents are not responsible, I might mention that substantial, repeated vandalism at a Tucson high school construction site instantly stopped when the parents were made financially liable.) The other boys should have tried to stop the attacks, but I understand why at least some might have hesitated: Fear. When in high school, I intervened in an attack on another student. The attackers turned on me. The original victim...why,he just walked away. No question, though, that the other boys should have instantly informed the adults.

Finally, a quote: “To see what is right, and not to do it, is want of courage or of principle." --Confucius

HEY U GUYS THAT GOT RAPED, IT DOESN'T MAKE YOU GAY AND IT WASN'T YOUR FAULT. DON'T LET THAT MOB MENTALITY OF IDIOTS GET TO YOU. AND GOD BLESS YOU, STAY STRONG, I AM PRAYING FOR YOU SO MUCH!

I don't have trouble believing the whole room watched, because look how the whole town is only caring about the criminals here. And if it was there kids in there, of course they stood and did nothing. Sounds like Bullys raising Bullys to me, and the whole town is scared of them. Please try these oversized "kids" like the adult criminals they acted like, so they can spend time in there being somebody's wife. Big Bubba's lonely. And don't forget the 20 year supply of mineral ice, cuz these "football gods" are gonna have lots of screams being drowned out by pillows and sheets. I can't wait to hear about that.

Everybody worried about your damn town pride remember pride is the biggest sin, and that church protesting in that town saying "God Hates Fags" wow you are a bunch of real idiots...none of them were "fags", just rapists and victims. Being raped doesn't make you a "fag"...IF ANYTHING THE GUYS DOING THE RAPING ARE FAGS OR THEY WOULDN'T BE INTERESTED IN OTHER GUYS ASSES WOULD THEY?

And the leader of the pack's father died probably from pure shame of the child demon he raised!

How dare you in that town defend anyone else but the victims. You selfish stupid completely doomed souls. If it was you or your child then how would you feel? GROW SOME BALLS AND DO SOMETHING RIGHT YOU BUNCH OF COWARDS!!!!!