Lawrence Taylor indicted on rape charge
Posted by: Sarah Rimmel on July 13, 2010 | Permalink
Last month two sports players made headlines in the news: Lawrence Taylor, Pro Football Hall of Famer, and Manute Bol, 7ft 7in NBA player from Sudan.
Lawrence Taylor was indicted on June 23rd, by a N.Y. grand jury on charges of rape in the third degree, criminal sexual act in the third degree, endangering the welfare of a child, patronizing a prostitute, and sexual abuse in the third degree. Taylor joined the Hall of Fame in 1999 and is known as one of the best defensive players in the NFL with the 2nd most sacks in an NFL career. Since the mid eighties he has had troubles with drugs and alcohol abuse and now is facing charges of rape and sexual abuse against a minor. Though his legacy is deteriorating, his popularity on the field continues despite his off the field behavior. Lawrence Taylor will go on trial in winter for the alleged crimes he committed against a 16 year old girl; exploitation which is not uncommon in the United States. Every year more than 200,000 U.S. citizens (mostly girls age 11-13) are at risk for being trafficked within the country and forced into sexual and/or labor exploitation. They may end up working in prostitution, strip clubs, escort services, pornography, restaurants, and agricultural industry. These are U.S. born children and teenagers from cities like Portland, Miami, Atlanta, and Columbus, who have been runaways and/or involved in the foster care system; though not all child victims fit this description. In certain cases, a “John” like Lawrence Taylor hires a prostitute and doesn’t care about and/or pay attention to the age of the “prostitute” or in this case, not a prostitute, but a minor who was exploited and cannot consent. (For more information, visit http://www.polarisproject.org/
It is common to hear about sports players in the media who are violent against a girlfriend, wife, or stranger, but we forget there are players who shine off field. Among this list is Manute Bol, a notable humanitarian and pro-NBA player who had an untimely death at age 47 on Saturday, June 19th
. He dedicated his life to advocating and improving his homeland of Sudan. He grew up herding cattle, then moved to the U.S. to play in the NBA from 1985 to 1995, where he set a record for most blocked shots by a rookie. During his time playing basketball, his homeland experienced widespread violence in the war between Northern Sudan and Southern Sudan, which killed more than two million people. Bol advocated for his people throughout these years and had a dream to build 41 multi-faith schools across Sudan before passing away. The first school is set to be finished soon, according to Tom Prichard, executive director of Sudan Sunrise, the charity used by Bol to build these schools. (To learn the work Bol started visit http://www.sudansunrise.org/
In our society, we largely ignore man and women like Manute Bol because we choose to support the highest scoring players, regardless of personal character and any ability to give back. Yet, as we overlook “off the job” behavior of our favorite athletes, musicians, or actors, we are also conveying messages of acceptance for these behaviors. I challenge us to give support to people in the sports, music, and film industry who are inspiring and uplifting their communities, not those who degrade it through acts of physical and sexual violence.
File Under: human trafficking
, lawrence taylor
, sexual violence
, manute bol