Recently, the Princeton Men’s Swim and Dive team had their season suspended following an investigation into emails and text messages between members of the team which contained ‘vulgar’ comments in regards to members of the Princeton Woman’s Swim and Dive team. What was said in the messages has not been made public, it has only been said that the messages contained racist, misogynistic and homophobic material. This suspension comes in relation to two other Ivy league school’s sports programs and is following a chain of similar misconduct in the sports world. Columbia and Harvard suspended their wrestling and soccer seasons after similar content to what happened in Princeton’s scandal was discovered.
In the world of sports there has been an emergence in this kind of activity within the past few years. Along with this emergence has been a difference in the way these cases are being dealt with. Maybe a few years ago if this same thing happened the Princeton Swimming and Diving team punishment would have been less severe and the players would have gotten off with only a one or two game suspension. What makes this case even more gripping is the fact that woman were involved and subject to discrimination. The way that cases like this are being handled with woman these days are very serious and often lead to a substantial punishment. All in all, there is no tolerance of it in the present day.
An example of how the treatment of woman in cases like this has changed in recent years is from the case of Joe Mixon, a former running back of the Oklahoma Sooners, who in 2014, struck a woman in the face in a bar after a dispute. Initially, Mixon was suspended for a year before being allowed to compete again. However, with the video of the dispute being released just a month ago, it brought up the case again and gave new light to it leading head coach Bob Stoops to say that if the assault had happened today, Mixon would have been kicked off the team.
In relation to the Princeton case, what happened with Mixon goes to show that the punishments in related cases like these two, especially concerning woman, have changed in the way that they have been handled and the punishments that have happened to the people involved. Mixon would have definitely been kicked off the team and probably out of the school if this happened today. Professional sport icons are becoming prim example’s of this issue. These athletes and what they are doing is showing that the problem is on going and that we are beginning to see a zero tolerance level. People who do harm to woman are facing large scale punishment, something that has been evolving over the last decade or so.
All together, cases like the Princeton Swimming and Diving teams are always going to contain wrong doing that deserves punishment. I believe in and accept the punishment that was given to the team but with little to go off of to judge this. I think that something like canceling the program would have been over the top. However, this case does point out that when things like this happen, much of what is involved is censored and left out for the public to see. It is hard to judge these young men involved accurately seeing that we cannot see firsthand what exactly was said in the messages and under what context the messages where implied. They might have been just a joke or they could have been made out to cause harm, no one will really know. As readers, this article does not show that and it leads the public to make assumptions which always can blow what really happened out of proportion.
Yes, there must have been wrong doing in this case for a season to be suspended, but readers shouldn’t jump to conclusions until they are fully aware of what exactly happened. Again, in connection to the Mixon case, it wasn’t until the actual video was released until people could actually see what happened which made the assault case more powerful than it was 2 years ago in 2014. This could be the same in Princeton’s case and if these messages are released some day down the line they could convince people that they aren’t as severe for a season to have been canceled.