Ronaldo was arrested last night regarding allegations of rape in a London hotel following Manchester United’s game against Fulham (see here for more).
Yet another example of those with privilege allegedly using it to commit sexual violence against women. This is another in a series of allegations against footballers. One would of course ask that surely, if they are false allegations, why would footballers put themselves in situations where such allegations could be made? When a woman goes voluntarily to a man’s room to drink and is raped she is asked “What did you expect to happen?”, why aren’t these prominent men asked, on taking a woman to his room “What did you expect to happen?” as a way of dissuading them? Why don’t clubs take sexual violence (or indeed any crime) seriously? Drink drivers are back playing days after their hearings, those accused of rape aren’t even suspended from play?
And why aren’t feminist charities approaching the FA and offering systematic training of the truth about sexual violence and, as a minor, how to prevent wrongful allegations? Football offers young men adoration, power and money without checks and without responsibility. Why is it so hard for an Association which offers media training, finance training and business training to also offer responsibility training in how footballers treat women? Or, looking more punatively, why don’t they suspend pay and play for those who are accused as punishment for getting themselves into a situation where that could happen?
Whatever the rights and wrongs of this particular case the Football Association and Clubs are wrong to take so lightly sexual violence. I return, as ever, to dreams of the day when feminists will adorn football stadia with white ribbons as a sign of shame when a footballer is accused of sexual violence and where women will silently picket the club until they suspend the player, suspend his pay and donate that sum to survivor services. After all, they won’t take it seriously until we show we do.