When Will We Stop Pretending That College Athletes Can't Be Rapists?


Mizzou basketball player Michael Dixon Jr. was accused of rape last August, but his charges were dropped due to “insufficient evidence,” according to police, and because boys will be boys and she was clearly just a jealous slut who wanted his high-ranking D, according to popular belief everywhere. But this wasn’t the first time Dixon has been accused of rape. If superstar athletes don’t need to rape to get laid, why are so many of them accused of sexual assault?

On August 21st, a University of Missouri sophomore told police that she was raped on August 20th by Dixon, a senior point guard who was voted sixth man of the year in the Big 12 last season and was expected to make an even bigger name for himself in the upcoming year.

According to the Columbia Daily Tribune:

She said she invited Dixon to her apartment to get to know him better. She said he suggested they turn out the lights because his “eyes hurt” and that, after initially resisting, she agreed to turn off the lights and they went to her bed. She said that while she tried to talk to Dixon, he leaned in to kiss her and she kissed him back. She said Dixon got on top of her and “she told Dixon she did not want to do this but that she just wanted to kiss him.”
According to the report, she said Dixon told her to “chill out” and began tugging at her pajama pants. She said she told Dixon multiple times to stop, to which he responded, “just chill out.” She said she tried unsuccessfully to push Dixon off of her but couldn’t. She said she told Dixon, “No you don’t even have protection, this is disgusting,” and that after saying that, Dixon removed a condom from his pocket and put it on.
She said that soon afterward Dixon penetrated her and she was in pain and unable to move. She said Dixon asked her to turn around so he could penetrate her from behind, which she did. When asked by the investigating officer if she ever tried to stop Dixon, she said “she had just let it happen and she did not know why.” She said she was not afraid of being struck by Dixon.
According to the report, the woman said Dixon stopped after about 20 minutes and she reached for her pajama pants. She said that when Dixon asked why she was trying to put on her pants, she replied, “because this was never supposed to happen in the first place.” She said she went to the bathroom, and when she returned Dixon asked her to perform oral sex on him. She said she told him no, and then Dixon asked her to masturbate him, which she did. She stated “she didn’t know why she did.”

In a second police interview, the sophomore said she and Dixon had a past: they met in March, at a frat party, and had “tried to date,” but “Dixon would try to visit her late at night to have sex but that she would say no.” She also told the cops that she had texted him after the incident, saying they should hang out together, and that she was sorry for yelling at him. She also told him she didn’t want him just using her for sex. Dixon sent her an eloquent text back: “Okay.”

When asked why she didn’t report the offense right away (Huh? She reported it the next day…), the woman said she didn’t want to go through the rape kit and police reports and that she “also had concerns about seeing Mr. Dixon on campus.” She also said people worshiped Dixon due to his athletic prowess, meaning they wouldn’t take her seriously, and that she doubted the school would take her seriously, either. She said her sorority sisters eventually convinced her she should report the rape.

Of course, this is all “he said, she said,” right? She could be making all of this up. Here are some of the 100% not-made-up texts the two exchanged on September 4th:

Woman: “Just delete my number. Dont want anything to do with you.”
Dixon: “I’m sorry its not you I told you that I don’t have any problems with u I have just had to rethink my priorities and do what’s best for me.”
Woman: “Michael, what kind of person has sex with someone then doesn’t want to contact them afterwards. I barely text you. I didn’t even want to have sex with you in the beginning; i pretty much made that clear with you since last semester, but no Michael always gets What he wanta.

It looks like she was right; Dixon did get what he wanted. Sex that was totally on his terms, and no long-term consequences for his actions.

She, on the other hand, got this:

Mizzou students and alumni who think Dixon is innocent were egging each other on via social media last night, claiming that her behavior was confusing, that she’s just mad she didn’t get what she wanted, and that her testimony is worthless because she was clearly down for some action in the first place.

I don’t buy the “she confused him!” excuse. What’s confusing about telling someone you don’t want to have sex with them over and over again? The fact that she texted him after isn’t “confusing,” it means she was upset that someone she hoped would respect her as a human being ended up raping her. Then, there’s the “she’s obviously just mad she didn’t get what she wanted” retort. Yes, her texts are angry. Why wouldn’t she be upset if she was raped by someone she clearly somewhat trusted — maybe because he was so worshiped on campus, or because he was nice to her sometimes, or, yes, because she exercised shitty judgment. Much like skimpy clothing, shitty judgment doesn’t validate rape.

The “but she did other sexual stuff with him!” argument is such bullshit, too. So what? Just because someone invites you over doesn’t mean you can rape them. Just because someone kisses you doesn’t mean you can rape them. Say it with us: no means no. No means No. If someone tells you they don’t want to have sex, you do not have sex with them. It’s not complicated.

Late last night, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch broke the news that Dixon had been accused of rape before. Surprise, surprise!

According to a 2010 MU Police Department report, a woman accused Dixon of “forcible rape” on Jan. 11, 2010. From The Columbia Missourian:

In the 2010 report, the woman said she met Dixon on Jan. 9 at an apartment belonging to other basketball players. Later that night, the woman said Dixon and another player came to her apartment to ask for a ride home. Shortly after she dropped them off, Dixon called and said he left his keys at the other basketball players’ apartment, so she picked him up and took him there to get them.
When no one answered the door, Dixon and the woman went back to her apartment to wait. At the woman’s apartment, the report said Dixon was making “verbal advances” toward her, even when she said she did not want to have sex with him. When the woman went to her bedroom, Dixon followed her, the report said.
The woman reported that once there, Dixon “forcefully pulled her pants off and placed her on the bed.” After, the report said, “Dixon then forcefully pinned his knee into her hip on the bed so she could not get away.” The woman said she told him “no” several times, but Dixon continued to hold her down.
The report said that to make him stop, the woman told Dixon that she was not taking birth control and told him he was hurting her, but she could not get away, and he continued. Eventually, the report said, she stopped fighting because she was in pain and closed her eyes until it was over.

The Post-Dispatch also reports that, according to the woman, Dixon later told her that “If you’re pregnant, you can’t be.” When she told him she would never get an abortion, he laughed and said that if she was pregnant he would “kick her in the stomach and push her down the stairs.”

A nurse who treated the woman afterward said in the report that, based on her injuries, she believed force was involved.

How come we’re just hearing about this? Because the woman didn’t want to press charges because she didn’t want to deal with “pressure or harassment” from others. She said in the report “that she was worried that because Dixon was a basketball player, no one would believe her and she might be ‘persecuted’ because of it.” Also, if someone threatened, even jokingly, to assault you if he got you pregnant, would you be comfortable having him on your bad side?

It’s unclear how the basketball team acted in 2010; sources said there was no substantial evidence to suspend Dixon indefinitely and that they thought it was “good that she dropped it and they weren’t going to push it any further.” Sources say that the case might have affected the indefinite suspension that Dixon’s been on since early October, thought to be prompted by the recent allegations.

Last night, hours after the news of Dixon’s second rape accusation broke, the school announced that Dixon will transfer from MU.

The official statement:

“It’s been a challenging few months and while I appreciate the support of many in the Mizzou community, including my coaches and teammates, it’s in the best interest of me, my family and the University of Missouri for me to finish my career elsewhere.”

In a text to a friend (forwarded to a Columbia Missourian reporter), he said:

“Yea I’m done here bro I’m not gonna be here anymore another girl my freshman year pulled this … on me now it’s coming out and everyone is gonna think it’s real so I’m thru bro I appreciate you tho just let as many (people) as u can know”

Studies show that undetected rapists rape and rape again. Still, even when a woman is brave enough to come forward and do everything we tell her she’s supposed to do — tell her friends, report it to the cops, get a rape kit — she’s accused of lying and fucking over the entire university. No wonder women often don’t want to press charges against student athletes, and no wonder they continuously get away scot free.

Most sexual assault cases, especially on college campuses, aren’t open-and-shut because they resemble this one: the students both know each other, or one invited the other back to her place, or they kept in touch after the incident. Therefore, despite the Department of Education’s “Dear Colleague” letter, which mandates that all known cases of possible sexual assault must be investigated on college campuses, officials often side with the poor, poor guy who would never have abused his social status to forcibly sleep with women.

According to a Benedict/Crosset study that surveyed 30 major Division I universities over a three-year period in the 1990s, male college student athletes, compared to the rest of the male population, “are responsible for a significantly higher percentage of sexual assaults reported to judicial affairs on the campuses of Division I institutions.” The study concluded that one in three college sexual assaults are committed by athletes. Unfortunately, no similar studies have been conducted since then, but most people who follow college sports (or women’s rights) can name recent athlete sexual assault controversies — at Notre Dame, Duke, Boston University, the University of Montana — faster than they can list off the country’s vice presidents.

Those are only the cases that actually get reported.

Can legendary college athletes also be rapists? Of course they can. Can they be ever be convicted rapists? That’s less clear.

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