Harvard University canceled the rest of the men’s soccer season due to a scandal over players rating the attractiveness of members of the women’s soccer team.
Last week, The Harvard Crimson published a report exposing the annual tradition of men’s soccer players producing a “scouting report” on the women’s team. A nine-page report from 2012 gave each woman a nickname, described their potential sexual proclivities (“she looks like the kind of girl who both likes to dominate, and likes to be dominated,” says one entry), and assigned them a sexual position to go along with their on-field position.
The ratings have produced a gargantuan backlash at Harvard, apparently because rating women is just a short jump away from raping them.
“This reprehensible practice reflects a culture of male sexual entitlement, where certain norms and expectations lead some to believe that women’s bodies are for their consumption,” claimed the editorial board of The Crimson. “This repugnant tradition should serve as a reminder that our campus is not impervious to rape culture.”
The Crimson connected the ratings to a scandal at Baylor University, where officials allegedly turned a blind eye towards accusations of sexual assault by football players. Unlike at Baylor, though, it is not clear that a member of Harvard’s soccer team has ever been accused of rape.
Harvard reacted to the controversy by canceling the rest of the men’s soccer season. That means the team will forfeit upcoming match-ups against Columbia University and the University of Pennsylvania.The team is also barred from competing in the NCAA tournament, in which it would receive an automatic berth upon winning the Ivy League conference (where it currently ranks in first place).
Harvard decided to cancel the season after an internal investigation concluded that the practice of rating women was an annual tradition that had occurred all the way up to this year.
“We strongly believe that this immediate and significant action is absolutely necessary if we are to create an environment of mutual support, respect, and trust among our students and our teams,” Harvard athletic director Robert Scalise said in an email to campus.
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