Redemption, Rape, and Other R Words

ImageI started out writing a post for this blog today. It was about Steubenville and rape culture and the sorts of other things that, if you’ve found your way here, you’ve probably read plenty about already. Lots of people have said what I was going to say, and have said it better.

What I wrote ended up being about a baseball player, so I moved it over to my baseball blog. It’s not a baseball story, though, it’s a story about the rape culture and (tangentially) Steubenville and all that stuff, from a different angle. You can go read it here.

The background, if you’re not familiar with the charming character pictured, is this: in 2008, when Josh Lueke was a 23-year-old minor-league relief pitching prospect, a very drunk woman who had been seen out partying with Lueke and other players at various bars, and kissing some of the players, made her way back to Lueke’s and another player’s apartment. She remembered vomiting into his toilet while someone masturbated on her, then waking up on his couch with her pants down. Lueke’s…DNA was found on her clothing and in an “anal swab.” So…yeah.

Ultimately, Lueke pleaded no contest to a lesser charge (false imprisonment with violence) and served all of 42 days in prison. He’s pitched in three different organizations since (and mostly pitched poorly) with no other public incidents.

A post from about a week ago on a Tampa Bay Rays blog I’d never heard of — which has since been taken down — said in essence that Lueke had a chance to put his “checkered past” behind him by continuing to pitch as well as he has this spring. Which is exactly what was wrong with the Steubenville coverage and so many similar (if smaller) stories — this idea that being good at sports, being a good teammate, or getting good grades are somehow valid measures of a person’s value that can be put on a level with, on the other side of the scale, “totally raped somebody.”

So I…took exception to that, and wrote about it. Hope you’ll check it out. I’ll think of something new and non-basebally (and hopefully non-depressing) to put up here soon.

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