American past and present athletes have revealed that sexual assault is not “locker room banter” and queried Donald Trump’s choice of locker rooms, Time is reporting.
On Friday, the 70-year-old billionaire businessman had addressed a sexist conversation he had with anchorman Billy Bush over coming strong on a married woman. Trump had bragged about kissing women without even asking them and touching their private parts because as a celebrity, he could get away with anything.
Trump had apologized for the incident that happened 11 years ago Friday night on videotape and echoed his remorse again during Sunday’s presidential debate. On both counts, Donald Trump had dulled the impact of his controversial talk, describing it as harmless.
“I’m not proud of it. I apologize to my family. I apologize to the American people. Certainly I’m not proud of it. But this is locker room talk.”
Dozens of sports stars have since reacted to the words of the Republican presidential nominee.
Former NFL quarterback Sage Rosenfels admitted that the locker room was not exactly a church gathering and that there was the occasional sexual banter between athletes, but they usually came from immature players who had carried no presence or leadership qualities in the locker room.
“Sure guys sometimes talk about conquests and those types of things…but the guys who did that were usually thought of as the more immature players, the players who didn’t get much respect. Plus there’s a fine distinction between raunchiness and bragging that you grope women without their consent.”
Brendon Ayanbadejo who played for over 10 years in the NFL winning the Super Bowl in 2012 with the Baltimore Ravens corroborated Rosenfels stance.
“On one side is graphic talk…the language might even be disgusting. But everyone’s having a good time talking about it…no one is talking about assaulting anyone. That’s criminal talk…those are completely different places.”
Sportsmen believe that Trump is fanning the embers of a dangerous stereotype when he makes excuses for locker-room talk. Rosenfels revealed his fellow athletes talked about constructive things and did not spend all their time ogling about sex. He recalled talking about music, pop culture, politics, and religion with teammates during his locker room days.
Ayanbadejo recalled that he particularly talked marriage equality with teammates, adding that there were simply so many important things to talk about rather than stew in sexual conversations. Ayanbadejo said he was shocked that a presidential candidate would be bragging about forcing himself on women. Rosenfels said he was not really shocked with the behavior of Trump describing him as a “gross” individual.
It is ironic that Donald Trump will dismiss his comments as “locker room banter” when he fired a female contestant from The Celebrity Apprentice after accusing her of the same thing.
In a 2010 clip of the show, Trump fired an Illinois native, Maria Kanellis-Bennett, for accusing another contestant, Curtis Stone, of using her dressing room and leaving it smelling bad.
Trump called Kanellis-Bennett’s comment “below the belt” and disgusting before declaring that it had no place in the board room, before giving the professional wrestler the boot.
“This is my boardroom. It’s not a locker room…Maria you’re fired.”
Kanellis-Bennett, now 34, who grew up in Ottawa and studied at the Northern Illinois University, retweeted the clip in the wake of Trump’s lewd tape leak, taking a swipe at the 70-year-old politician and his treatment towards women.
“How can you make light of these comments. It’s been a horrible 24 hours for the women who have been affected by abusive comments and actions.”
[Featured Image by Evan Vucci/AP Images]