Public Outcry to Trump Assaults is Unfortunately An Anomaly, Sign of a Larger Problem


In 2013, rapper Rick Ross recorded a verse on the song “U.O.E.N.O.” which included the following lyrics: “Put molly all in her champagne/ She ain’t even know it/ I took her home and I enjoyed that/ She ain’t even know it.” Ross bragging about date raping women might bring to mind a tape that recently emerged of Donald Trump similarly bragging about sexual assault.

Unfortunately, Ross’s lyrics have not caused the same public outcry as Trump’s comments. In fact, Ross’s career has continued relatively unfettered. Since releasing “U.O.E.N.O.,” he has received Grammy nominations, signed a new deal with Epic Records and was recently a featured artist on the soundtrack of the movie “Suicide Squad.” His songs continue to be played on the radio and his concerts continue to sell out. All of this despite not only his horrific lyrics, but also an extensive history of lawsuits related to guns, assault and battery and kidnapping.

Granted, Ross is not running for President of the United States. But for too long, the public and the media especially has held musicians and athletes to a lower standard than the rest of the population when it comes to sexual assault and domestic violence.

Ross is hardly the only example. This week, indisputable evidence surfaced proving that New York Giants kicker Josh Brown repeatedly abused his wife. But the most damning of the evidence is that Brown had admitted to this behavior before the season began and was subsequently signed to a two year, four million dollar contract. At that time, the NFL opted to suspend him for just one game, regularly doling out harsher punishments for excessive touchdown celebrations, uniform infringements or deflating footballs than for an admission to domestic violence.

Now that the NFL has been publicly embarrassed and exposed, it is acting swiftly and severely. This represents nothing more than a feeble attempt to save face, however. It is simply too late.

The same was true in the case of Ray Rice, a Ravens running back whose history of domestic violence was all but swept under the rug until that was no longer possible. In his case, it required leaked videos showing the abuse for all to see. Time and time again, the NFL ignores facts until they become public knowledge.

Furthermore, the cases filed against Kobe Bryant and more recently Derrick Rose show that athletes enjoy a true assumption of innocence, which has not been the case for Donald Trump or other public figures. In Trump’s case, victims’ stories have been largely taken at face value, while Bryant’s and Rose’s accusers have been assumed to be money or fame-grabbers until proven otherwise.

My point is this: many people have prided themselves on not letting Donald Trump off the hook, and rightly so. They have called for him to drop out of the presidential race and encouraged boycotts of Trump’s hotels and other businesses. Following this logic, shouldn’t we also boycott “Suicide Squad” and radio stations that air Rick Ross’s songs and stop buying New York Giants tickets or paraphernalia until they are punished for knowingly employing an admitted wife beater? This all seems like a double standard to me.

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