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Jessica Luther presents Unsportsmanlike Conduct: College Football and the Politics of Rape

  • Saint Paul Athletic Club 340 Cedar Street Saint Paul, MN, 55101 United States (map)

This event will be hosted at the Saint Paul Athletic Club 340 Cedar Street.

Football teams create playbooks, in which they draw up the plays they will use on the field. Playbooks are how teams work and why they win. This book is about a different kind of playbook: the one coaches, teams, universities, police, communities, the media, and fans seem to follow whenever a college football player is accused of sexual assault.

It's a deep dive into how different institutions--the NCAA, athletic departments, universities, the media--run the same plays over and over again when these stories break. If everyone runs his play well, scrutiny dies down quickly, no institution ever has to change how it operates, and the evaporation of these cases into nothingness looks natural. In short, this playbook is why nothing ever changes.
Unsportsmanlike Conduct unpacks this societal playbook piece by piece.

"The maxim of the law is silence gives consent. Back when nobody was talking about AIDS, the maxim was Silence Equals Death. There exists in our major sports a malignant culture of sexual assault and bureaucratic indifference. There is nothing this culture resists more than plain talk, and Jessica Luther has been speaking more plainly about this ongoing obscenity than almost anyone else. This is a hard, necessary, and important book, a book by someone who refuses to be silent, and damn sure refuses to consent."
--Charles P. Pierce, author of Idiot America: How Stupidity Became a Virtue in the Land of the Free

"Luther's well-researched book speaks powerfully to the complicated landscape of sexual assaults on college campuses--including the greedy interests at play in denying it--and provides us a much-needed road map for instituting effective change. I highly recommend this book for anyone who believes that student safety should matter more than athletic success, and that we all have a role to play in assuring that it does."
--Wendy Davis, former Texas state senator, Founder of Deeds Not Words

Jessica Luther is an independent writer and investigative journalist living in Austin, Texas. Her work on sports and culture has appeared in the Texas Observer and the Austin Chronicle, and at Sports Illustrated, Texas Monthly, Vice Sports, Guardian Sport, and Bleacher Report. Luther's work gained national attention in August 2015 when writing for Texas Monthly; she and Dan Solomon broke open the story about a Baylor football player on trial for sexual assault, a case known by only a few in the community and not reported in the media for nearly two years.

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