In the wake of publicity generated by the sexual assault scandal surrounding the Duke men’s lacrosse team, sales of merchandise bearing the “Duke lacrosse” name and logo have skyrocketed.
“Historically, lacrosse has been one of our three or four best-selling sports,” said Tom Craig, general manager of retail stores at the Durham, N.C., school. “But over the last month, sales have increased to three or four times our normal rate.”
Despite the cancellation of the team’s season April 5 — or perhaps because of it — the campus stores have experienced a run on merchandise related to Duke lacrosse, and therefore have continued to carry it. Developments in the case include the Tuesday arrest of two of the players.
Although the merchandise remains available at campus stores, one national retailer, Dick’s Sporting Goods, has pulled all Duke lacrosse merchandise from the shelves in its five stores in the Raleigh-Durham area.
Getting away from the commercial exploitation angle, USA Today’s Jon Sarceno writes that “everyone from water-cooler debaters to Internet bloggers seems to have an opinion about the two lacrosse players charged Tuesday with rape, sexual offense and kidnapping.” But thankfully, not everyone has joined in the age-old pastime of smearing the accuser.
Is it inconceivable that some testosterone-charged athletes consumed too much alcohol and thought that paying $800 for two African-American strippers was tantamount to receiving permission to defile their bodies and spirits in any manner that they deemed fit?
By the same token, is it possible to doubt the credibility of a person whose past suggests she has some maturity issues and a criminal history?
Maybe she was drugged and raped.
Perhaps she is lying.
Either way, the result is reprehensible ” and immutable.
When accusations and denials are tossed out like crushed beer cans, everyone invariably loses.
Collin Finnerty and Reade Seligmann never will be the same, even if they are acquitted at trial. Their faces and names are splashed on TV and newspapers, their handcuffed images indelible. The look on Finnerty’s face as he sat before the judge appeared to be one of shock and fear. Or was that smugness?
The life of the 27-year-old woman, a mother of two and a college student, also will be dramatically altered. If she thinks people are making insinuations and snide remarks about her now, wait until there is a trial.
I dunno, seems as though there’s at least one columnist for a national newspaper doing his share to give her a little preview.