In high schools and colleges popular portrayals make male athletes out to be strong, powerful… and invincible? The worst part is that lots and lots of misogynistic males buy into this hero-worship and view becoming an athlete as a lifestyle. This dynamic is demonstrated in high schools where the teenage jocks are at the “coolest” parties and only hang out with the other athletes. It is demonstrated when college guys won’t let go of letterman jackets because they cannot be defined by anything else. Being a jock becomes a lifestyle on an entirely different level when athletes go “pro”. None of this is to say that sports are destructive or that an athlete does not have a valid, constructive career. It is to say that males who are portrayed as physically superior, stronger, and more important than the rest of us, they are often prone to abusing their strength and power.
The National Coalition Against Violent Athletes states that:
“A 3 year study shows that while male student-athletes comprise 3.3% of the population, they represent 19% of sexual assault perpetrators and 35% of domestic violence perpetrators. (Benedict/Crosset Study)”
Former linebacker for the New York Giants and current member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame, Lawrence Taylor, has been charged with third degree rape of a 16 year-old girl, who he allegedly solicited for prostitution.