It’s amazing: It’s now sexual harassment (or something) for a male college football coach to say that a female player on the co-ed team can’t play very well. Yes, yesterday, University of Colorado coach Gary Barnett was placed on paid administrative leave for a statement he made on Tuesday dissing the abilities of Katie Hnida, a placekicker on the team back in 1999. Yes, Barnett is in trouble today because of what he said about someone’s abilities five years ago! Here’s what Barnett said (according to CNN):
“It’s a guy’s sport, and they felt like Katie was forced on them,” Barnett said. “It was obvious Katie was not very good. She was awful.”
“You know what guys do, they respect your ability. I mean you can be 90 years old, but if you can go out and play, they respect you.
“Well, Katie was a girl. Not only was she a girl, she was terrible. And there’s no other way to say it. She couldn’t kick the ball through the uprights.”
Hnida is in the news, of course, because she revealed to a reporter for Sports Illustrated–also lo, these five years later–that she was raped by a teammate, as well as forced to endure verbal abuse and indecent exposure, during her brief stint on the Colorado team. Hnida, who dropped out of Colorado after her sophomore year, maintains that she was too frightened to complain to the police about any of these incidents. The university is now under investigation for using sex parties to recruit for the football team. Several women have complained that they were raped at either team sex parties or in players’ apartments in 2001. Perhaps they were indeed molested against their will–but why go to a sex party if you don’t want sex?
Barnett, as is now de rigeur in such incidents, has apologized for sounding insensitive to poor Hnida. But he remains suspended, because, as Colorado president Elizabeth Hoffman said: “In the context of a rape allegation, it is inappropriate to make statements about the ability of the player.”