A Request re: Zach Talk

As you have probably seen the Oregonian and Oregon Live have published the memo from the DA's office detailing the specifics about the Zach Randolph case and what went on in the hotel room that evening.  John Canzano has also addressed it in an article this morning.

I have no problem talking about the issue in generalities...how it affects the team, community, etc.  But I think the memo can stand on its own and needs no further explanation, repetition, comment, joking about, or whatever...at least not here.  Let's let those who want to read it, read it and for those who don't let's not repeat the details over morning toast.  To be clear I'm not accepting OR condemning any of the sexual proclivities detailed in said report.  I'm not attempting to establish any kind of sanctimonious moral high ground here.  I just feel stuff like this--while it has a place somewhere--shouldn't be irrevocably attached to the subject of Blazers basketball.  It's kind of crappy that it is, and I don't think we need to perpetuate that by rehashing it.  There's nothing we can add to the conversation by doing so...it is what it is.

The other issue I'm anxious to avoid is speculation on the credibility of the accusers in this matter.  I've known plenty of people who really, actually have been assaulted.  The truth is many of them wait days before deciding to come forward because that's not an easy decision.  Many assaults also happen under the influence of alcohol by one or more parties...but that shouldn't be an excuse for liberty, nor a basis for denial of a person's right to their own body.  Most importantly many, many victims are petrified to come forward because the standard defense for sexual assault is to question and/or accuse the alleged victim.  People are simply afraid if they come forward they will not be believed (and/or will be blamed and called stupid, careless, drunk, promiscuous, or whatever).

Again, I am NOT trying to pass judgment on what happened that night...none of us know.  But I do know that reading about accusations towards and disbelief of these women would have to be incredibly painful for anyone who's gone through that themselves.  What we'd get out of debating that aspect of the issue wouldn't be worth the potential pain reading it could cause.  If an assault did occur we would be doing a horrible injustice by talking that way.  If this was just a scheme for money (as some argue) then we do no service perpetuating and prolonging the issue and keeping Zach's name associated with it...especially since as soon as you post a defense of Zach somebody else will just post a counter-argument.  It's a dead-end alley, so what say we just skip that particular aspect of the argument?

It is a community site and I suppose if you're going to, you're going to, but I just think it would be better all around to keep the discussion of this matter focused on basketball, community, and the general propriety of what we already know rather than focusing on sexual details, accuser credibility, and things we can only guess at.

--Dave (blazersub@yahoo.com)

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