Blog: Cheerleader Refuses to Cheer for her Alleged Rapist

Cheerleader Refuses to Cheer for Alleged Rapist

When I first read the headline on this story ( read the word “controversy” I thought to myself “huh, what controversy”. After all, who would blame a girl for not cheering for a guy she claims assaulted her?

But there are plenty of things to discuss here. First of all, let’s deal with why the story caught my eye. I’m a big fan of cheerleaders or more directly, cheerleader uniforms. So yeah, there is a built in sexual component that some might not like. (The blogger sited calling cheerleading essentially anti-female for example.)

There is also the civil libertarian in me that says that no one should be forced to do anything they don’t want to do. In this case requiring a girl to cheer for the guy who allegedly raped her is a pretty shitting thing to. It seems cold hearted at best. On the other hand, there is the side of me that likes saying “on the other hand.”

Let’s take both sides for a minute. If her allegations were found to be true the player in question would (or at least should) be off the team and we wouldn’t have an issue. That’s the easy side. Now let’s say that the sexual assault is just alleged and even go further. Let’s say it didn’t happen. If that is the case and the cheerleader in question decided not to cheer for a player does she still have the right to do that? It seems unreasonably cruel to make a girl cheer for someone who may have abused her, but would that open the door for someone to refuse to cheer (or take part in a sanctioned and mandatory group activity) for whatever reason she wants? What if the player dumped her? What if she thought he was a dick? If we allow people to opt out of group functions then how do we decide what is a “good” reason? (And before you even type it, I am not equating sexual assault to name calling.)

The courts decided that she could be kicked off the team for refusing to cheer. That’s probably the right decision in the absence of a provable infraction. However, this young woman should be applauded for her courage and strength. I guess I would hope for a little more understanding from her teammates and school officials who have done their best to sweep this whole thing under the rug. And if what she alleges turns out to be true then everyone should refuse to cheer for that fucking scumbag. (Do year that #24, fucking scumbag.)


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