Let's see both sides

Written by Rosa Colucci on .

I was disturbed by your front-page article "Athletes Susceptible to Sexual Allegations" (July 22), which appeared in the aftermath of the sexual-assault allegation against Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger.

I just moved from Washington, D.C., where even-handed and nuanced reporting of complex, fractious issues is requisite. Yet in this article the focus was on how athletes are often falsely accused of sexual misconduct and how difficult it is to defend against such allegations.

The implication of the article is that female gold diggers routinely cozy up to high-profile athletes, planning to file false charges later and extort money. Although this may occur occasionally, the article failed to address the other side, which is the emotional toll on women who have actually been sexually assaulted by athletes. These women also face difficulties in the legal system. Athletes may feel immune to the rules by which the rest of us abide and they may be supported by systems that protect athletes.

My understanding of even-handed reporting and of gender equality requires addressing each position fairly and of interviewing spokespersons on both sides.

The writer is a lawyer and forensic consultant.


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