By Sam Agnitsch
Turns out it’s not just the men at Baylor who are utterly clueless. Baylor women’s basketball coach Kim Mulkey showed us this weekend that ignorance is equal opportunity in Waco. Coming off her 500th career win as the Bears coach, Mulkey stood at half court after the game, microphone in hand, and addressed the crowd. Most coaches would typically turn to reflection in these moments, looking back on program achievements, possibly list past mentors, or even look toward the future of the program. Kim Mulkey decided to minimize rape victims, spew that concerned parents should be knocked in the face and showed how genuinely little she cares or understands about the sexual assault problem by passionately towing the company line. That wasn’t all, she continued to embarrass herself in the post-game press conference by stating “It’s over and done” in reference to the scandal, and comically threw out the age old “Kobe Defense” by exclaiming “the problems we have at Baylor are no different than the problems at any other school in America.” Finally, she topped the whole thing off with a bullshit apology after the understandable wave of criticism hit a day later, in which the only thing she showed contrition for was the “knock them in the mouth” remark, before capping it off with “No one’s dismissing what happened here, I want us to get to the bottom of it”. It was a doozy, even by Baylor’s standards.
First of all, how can you honestly blame parents for being concerned when there are 52 alleged “acts of rape” in just the football program and 125 reports of sexual assault/sexual harassment campus-wide in the same 4-year span? Not to mention the complete institutional failure on numerous cases, some of which were intentionally negligent to protect the football program. If you couple that with the slow, tone-deaf response of the administration (some still there), people should have zero cause for blaming these parents about not wanting to send their daughters to what is currently being known as Rape School, much less having the women’s basketball coach incite violence against them for this opinion.
Second, no it’s not over, I’m pretty sure the victims will tell you that themselves. There are also still several on-going investigations and court cases, all of which you shamefully disregarded by making the statement “it’s over and done” and by mentioning multiple times you were “tired of hearing it”. It is kind of hard to claim you want to get to the bottom of something after you’ve launched a tirade about the problem being over and how sick you are of hearing about it.
Finally, to defend an institutional breakdown of policing rape/sexual assaults by saying it happens everywhere is not only irrelevant to the concerns of Baylor, but completely untrue and once again, minimizes the victims. No Kim, most schools don’t have complete breakdowns of sexual assault investigations (or discouraging victims to report altogether) that involve every single level of the university ladder. For Christ’s sake, even the Board of Regents had to apologize. Besides how is blaming another school a solution to Baylor’s issues? Could Penn State use the Catholic Church as a deflection for the Sandusky case? Of course not.
The cold reality is Kim Mulkey is in a unique position as a popular women’s sports icon to spearhead this issue or at the very least provide a voice to these silenced victims and she’s failing miserably. Whether it is by ignorance or just wanting to be a good foot soldier to the school, this is an issue where it feels like we’ve heard every side of the story except the women’s. Kim Mulkey has the power to change this, instead she’s providing excuses, no matter how many women have been assaulted, ignored, and dismissed for the sake of male athletics or University reputation. Congratulations Kim, you’ve earned this distinguished honor, asshole.