Sunday night, ESPN aired “Fantastic Lies” which documented the infamous Duke Lacrosse rape case and the controversy surrounding it. First, let me say that it was that it was probably the best ESPN 30 for 30 I’ve ever watched. Given its sensitive subject matter, I’m surprised that ESPN even decided to produce it but I’m so glad that they did.
Growing up playing lacrosse and being a (former) DII lacrosse player, this a story I’m very familiar with. Ten years ago, when this story broke, lacrosse was even more of a niche sport than it is now. When people thought of lacrosse, they thought of an affluent, preppy white kid from New England who went to boarding school.
Here’s some reference:
And that was very much the case back then. So college lacrosse players, who most of the general public viewed as spoiled white kids from rich areas, didn’t have the best rep going into the scandal. Obviously, when the media got wind of this, everyone lost their minds. In the eyes of the public (and professors at Duke) the whole team was guilty.
Given today’s society, this would’ve been 10x worse if it had happened now. The scary thing is most people don’t even know what happened. I guarantee if you asked 10 people if they knew about this case all 10 would say yes. If you asked those same 10 people if they were proven innocent or guilty, I bet the majority would say guilty. That’s the sad part. People were so quick to condemn these kids because of who they were and where they came from. The accusations stuck in our minds, not the facts.
I don’t want to go into the nitty-gritty of the case, I’ll leave that job to ESPN because they do an excellent job of telling it.
For anyone who is familiar with this case or not, this is a real must-watch. I’m sure ESPN will air it again sometime this week, so be sure to watch.
Duke lacrosse has done a good job of putting this whole situation behind them and moving on to big things like this:
And like this: