Acton Institute Powerblog

Wanted: A Duke Lacrosse Team Hero

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Duke University is embroiled in a sensational scandal involving its lacrosse team and allegations of sexual assault of a stripper at a wild party. But, as Anthony Bradley points out, the case is really symptomatic of a much larger problem in American society. “Why is there no national outrage about the fact that two adult women subjected themselves to voyeuristic, live pornography?” he asks. “What kind of men do we raise in America that they would even want to hire a stripper?”

Read the full commentary here.

Jonathan Spalink


  • JJ Hooton

    First, every team member has unquestionably been strongly told by their attorneys to say absolutely nothing to anyone concerning this case. The accusation of the “code of silence” is simply following the strict advice of counsel. It is the local DA, Nifong, who has chosen to try these players in the press and sources say he may be under investigation by the NC Bar Association.

    Second, it could be that the truth has already been told, i.e., nothing happened or at least not anything as serious as what the two players have been charged with. The factual evidence available so far, e.g., lack of DNA, conflicting stories by both dancers, photos, and an almost impenetrable alibi by one of the accused (Reade Seligman), may prove that something entirely different occurred than what your article assumes and what so much of the press has implied.

    Finally, the reason the lacrosse gear is flying off the shelves at the student center, is a show of support for the team and the university that have all been smeared by the local and national press, as well as the DA.

    My advice to you, and all others, let the courts decide.

    JJ Hooton
    Master of Environmental Management, DU 1974

    PS I worked in town, not for the university, my entire stay at Duke and paid for every dime of my education and degree.

  • Michael Spellman

    Interesting article, however the premise bothers me and any other proponent of US democratic law. Your ending passage:
    "A good start would be for one player to stand up, tell the police the truth, and fulfill a wonderful calling to fight for human dignity and justice. That Duke man would be my hero"

    What makes you so sure these 47 men are guilty of any crime, & moreso have yet to tell "what really happened"?

  • BF

    I also thought your article has merit, but as the other responder noted, these boys may not have anything new to tell. My association with the game suggests these players do have character and yes, they would speak up and "do the right thing". Since nothing has leaked or been presented to the authorities, I believe that the crime as outlined by the DA, most likely did not happen. As to your comment about the kids acting like men, I agree, but the plain truth is, most college kids are not mature and do make the wrong choices at times, whether a student/athlete at Duke or non-athlete attending a community college. Schools’ administrators, professors and coaches all share the burden of responsibility to teach and enforce a code of ethics. (along w/parents).

  • Warren C.

    "There is outrage aplenty, but the sources of the problem are deeper than alleged acts of sexual assault. Why is there no national outrage about the fact that two adult women subjected themselves to voyeuristic, live pornography?"

    Let’s keep the outrage where it belongs – on the accusation of gang-rape. And speaking of gang rape, it’s just about a foregone conclusion that is not went down that night. Absurd. But, what do you care? You’re just in the hunt for a rat that won’t materialize.

    Don’t forget, mafia families have squealed under much less pressure and scrutiny than this. 40-some odd college boys. And their families. With evidence backing their story – what, you think they’re hiding a GANG RAPE??? Those two boys are ruined and not by a crazy stripper, but by a reckless, self-serving DA.

  • D.A. Taylor

    Column says "Duke’s lacrosse team is a team of fully grown, adult men, and they should be expected to live that way." But when they drink, it’s apparently "underage drinking" according to the Duke preisident.

    We can’t have it both ways, can we? We demand adult behavior, yet treat them as children when it comes to booze, but then we use them as cannon fodder when it suits us.

    And the university’s use of its athletes for its own gain is a whole ‘nother issue.

  • Connie

    Are you so certain that they haven’t told the truth "nothing happened"?

  • Paul J. Cornish

    I think we can set aside this language about "nothing happened". At the least the entire team has been suspended from intercollegiate competition because of a pattern of behavior dating back for years. In addition, there is not only the issue of underage drinking but the issue of those providing the alchohol to the underage drinkers. If our goal is to encourage a culture that will develop "gentlemen" in the truest sense of the word, we had better get serious about this type of violence against women. In this case the woman is constantly referred to as "a stripper", what if she were just anothe Duke student?

  • Andy

    The DA’s story keeps changing.

    First medical evidence indicated a massive gang rape.

    Then there was no DNA, so then it became less of gang rape and more of a surgical procedure with plenty of latex.

    Now there is DNA of multiple people people who were not even at the party under her finger nails. (ie the skin from the backs of JOHNS)

    The timeline doesn’t support her story.

    One of the accused with (100%% certainty) wasn’t even at the party when the alledged rape occurred.

    A crime was committed and rape was not it.

    Let’s start seeing some prosecution for false accusations and extortion.

    Apparntly the only ethics we are concerned with is that of the upper middle class white boys. She can roll in the gutter all she wants.

    Supposedly the accuser is forced to degrade herself to support 2 kids. Supporting two kids does not include showing up to strip intoxicated. My widowed mom raised 5 of us while keeping her clothes on and got her masters degree in the progress.

  • Jeff

    Your article is poorly researched and highly opionated. By "several" Duke members facing criminal charges, do you mean the two that were charged? The two that seem to have timelines that dismisses them as suspects.

    We only have enough evidence to speculate for the accuser or the defendants. Picking one side or the other reveals pre-existing bias.

  • Kahuna

    Asking for a Hero to come forward to tell the truth assumes that the team members are lying.

    Isn’t it possible that we should be asking the victim/accuser the same question?

  • R.Kaestner

    I have one question for everyone who has a opinion on this situation,including the DA,and the President of Duke.In the U.S.A a person is innocent until proven guilty!

  • PJ

    Ha… you automatically assume they are lying. How about this… maybe they are telling the truth. You clearly have not considered that.

    Innocent until proven guilty:

    Sign the petition

  • pat gleason

    I happen to have been friends with a woman who knows the two accused boys parents. On the phone the other night she told me she was talking to one of her own teenage boys about the incident, and thought it would make an excellent "teachable moment". I anticipated she would say that hiring strippers was treating women as objects of lust, and that such actions dehumanized both stripper and watcher, that it was immoral, and an affront to both manners and dignity for all involved. But no. Her husband first tried to stop her from even bringing it up "because you can’t tell teenage boys they shouldn’t want to look at naked women." And then my friend added, "So I told them if they are going to do that, then don’t invite the scum into your home. Do it in public – go to a strip club – where there are witnesses so you can’t be falsely accused.

    Needless, to say, my jaw nearly hit the floor.

    So there is the problem – you can blame society, but society is us, folks. It’s the parents of the boys, the coaches, the television shows, the movies, the video games and the music videos that elevate the gratification of base desires to some sort of utopia, where pornography is "healthy" and the the stirppers are "scum," but the young men who pay for their voyeurism with big bucks are pure.

  • EL

    The wide acceptance of young men celebrating the degradation of these women is as troubling as anything else about this case. As a feminist, it is clear that deeper questions must be posed in order that human dignity is accorded to all. Youth culture should not be given a pass on this, and your column makes this point.

  • John Durby

    Stand up and tell the truth? WHAT IF THEY ARE? You arr innocent until proven guilty in America. Right now, there is no clear evidence in any way that says a rape occured. The woman, who is accusing the two Duke players, has a history of criminal behavior, and mental illness. She very well could be the one lying. The truth will come out, but even if the Duke players are proven innocent their lives are already ruined. If she is lying, which she very well could be, her lie will cost these young men a great deal. They should have not been underage drinking in the first place, but there is no guarantee a rape happened. Is it a coincidence the two men happen to be the wealthiest on the Duke lacrosse team? I don’t think so. Mike Nifong has handled this situation terribly and has made America think the two Duke students are undoubtedly guilty. Your article is flat out, one sided journalism assuming a rape did happen. There is no guarantee it did. Why don’t you write an article telling the alleged victim to tell the TRUTH. If she is lying about this, she is ruining the lives of two people and will not be punished at all. That is a crime too. If she is not lying, the young men need to face severe consequences and they should go to jail for a long time. However, no evidence says a rape happened. NO DNA, pictures, inconsistent stories from the two strippers, both of whom have had legal trouble in the past. In fact, the second stripper was arrested the week after the party for embezzling 25,000 dollars from her other job. SHE sounds like a trustworth source. She stole 25 grand. How do you know she is not lying? How do you know both of them are not lying? Your story was one sided and it assumes the Duke kids are guilty? What if they are not? It is a shame you wrote your story.

  • Delisha

    The "anti-Asking for a Hero" group is forgetting that these young men refused to cooperate with the police and would not share ANY details about that evening – not even who was there and who was not. Indeed someone needs to start talking – they may not say..yes, we have a sick fascination with African-American women and got angry when they didn’t do what we wanted them to do and a few of our boys raped one with a broomstick" but they need to say something.

  • Delisha

    I forgot about the "attorney order to not speak about the case" reasoning for their silence – they’ve been willing to share select information like…after she passed out we helped her to the car (and took pictures), yes we were angry about the short performance, and they’ve released the "time-stamped photos". I say – let’s put it all out there. Everyone tell there story – there is nothing to hide right?

  • Bruce Edward Walker

    Mr. Bradley does an excellent job of establishing culpability of every person involved in this shameful episode. The commodification of the human body degrades all who involve themselves in such commerce. It is not God’s intention for us to make objects of ourselves or that we objectify others. Whether a rape occurred or no is irrelevent to the far greater topic Mr. Bradley addresses.

  • William Gissy

    The Duke incident should be cherished by most people here for it is the fulfillment of Austrain economics and libretarian politics so why cry about it?

  • Mike Nifong (vote for me)

    "Mr. Bradley does an excellent job of establishing culpability of every person involved in this shameful episode. The commodification of the human body degrades all who involve themselves in such commerce. It is not God’s intention for us to make objects of ourselves or that we objectify
    others. Whether a rape occurred or no is irrelevent to the far greater topic Mr. Bradley addresses."

    In response to this comment-

    Whether a rape occured is extremely relevant to the article. He is asking the Duke players to tell the truth about the rape. If a rape did not happen, what should they do? Maybe, they are telling the truth. Should the students have been drinking underage? Absoultely not! Should they have hired strippers? No because it is degrading to woman, and I am against it, but it is not illegal. If they did rape her, I hope they face severe consequences that last a long time, but right now they are already facing consequences and there has been absolutely no evidence to prove their guilt. If the strippers were more credible sources, or if DNA evidence was found, it would be a different story. But right now it is one word of mouth over another. She very well could have been raped, but as of right now it looks like it was highly unlikely. Therefore, why should these young men be viewed in the media as 100 percent guilty?

    Also, the greater topic he adresses is telling the truth. If the young men are telling the truth that they did not rape her and she is lying. She is the one that needs to step up. Accusing someone of rape, if not true, needs to have severe consequences. If it turns out she made the story up, looking for a free ticket out of her finaincial situation, she will not be punished in any way. In fact, when the police officers found her drunk passed out in her car she was in violation of her probation from a previous criminal charge. As the mother of two, she would have lost both her children. By saying she was raped, the police did not punish her for being drunk in public, and passed out in an automobile. There are two sides to every story. Someone made a great point about how the two accused players are the wealthiest on the team. It seems as if the accuser’s lawyers did their research for their client.

    Another note, Mike Nifong is using this case as a ticket to re election. He has handled this situation so terribly that I can’t see anyone voting for him. He is obviously doing it for the votes. Making 70 appearances on the news in a week, guaranteeing DNA evidence will prove his case, and then now not talking to the media at all afte he realized no DNA evidence came up, and that there really is no evidence, period!

    The woman and Duke lacrosse players were there at the house. That is the only evidence anyone has. Also, what about the pictures of the accuser showing up at the house already beaten? How do you explain that?

    Mr. Bradley wants the truth. Then let the truth come out. The accuser needs to step forward as well if she is lying. If a rape did happen, step up Duke players. If the accuser is lying and made up the story, step up accuser. That is what his story should have said.

  • Jay

    The truth…. the truth works for settling a guilty conscience, but sadly the truth has little to do with public assault on character.

    the truth of law is that the accused are innocent until proven guilty, and that is most likely the reson behind the stonewalling of the police. They had their mind made up about what the truth was based on the victim’s statements.

    and mr Ms Delisha — why must it be a "sick" fascination with African American women ? Are African American women that distorted in your view that they could not be found attractive and desirable to ANY race of man… there is nothing wrong with finding a black woman attractive, and it is not deviant behavior, so I suggest and end to that racial bigotry.

    When Lawyers mangel the truth to create a case to present in court, it is where the historical truth of what happened is confused with conjecture and intent and intepretation, and is no longer the truth, but rather a point of view.

    Cases of law are based on this presentation to the judge and jury, not the truth, and while sad and improper, THIS…. is the truth

  • Tim McCarthy

    Wanted the players to speak out about what really happened?

    Here you go:

  • William Gissy

    Would it not be better if sales of Duke’s lacrosse gear rose because people were proud to promote a team with a reputation for being not only stellar athletes and excellent students but also the kind of men known for justice, wisdom, courage, and self-control?

    a subjective value and therefore not relevant to the market….the market only cares that people demand…not why they demand….in Libretarian Utopia why does not matter….

    Why is there no national outrage about the fact that two adult women subjected themselves to voyeuristic, live pornography? What kind of men do we raise in America that they would even want to hire a stripper?

    What outrage…this is the free market at work…two adult women caluculated that it was in their economic interest to engage in this behavior…most likely because the great booming economy doesn’t provide better economic alternatives…as to the second question my guess would be they are good free market Austro-libretarians who act according to the central axiom…it’s all about me and my pleasure

  • Danny DaHart

    There is no support out there for the Duke players right now. It is a shame. Based on the new news that has come out today, about how the alleged victim already came up with a rape story several years ago, where again there was no evidence. There is no evidence in this case at all. BOTTOM LINE. The only evidence available proves the Duke lacrosse players innoncence. However, the lives of Colin Finnerty and Reade Selligman have been changed forever.

    If she is lying, which is starting to seem obvious, she needs to owe a large apology. It appears right noq as if a lower class stripper tried to fabricate a story to give herself a financial advantage. Not a lot more to it. She will face little to minimal backlash, while the two young men have already been labeled criminals in the eyes of the media. Who is the victim here? If the Durham stripper and former criminal who is accusing the Duke players of rape is lying, the players are undoubtedly the victim of this case. If this woman wanted money so bad, why didn’t she have a more respectable job and work hard towards a more lucrative career. As of right now, she was looking for a free ticket and that is unacceptable. The idea of being politcally correct in America has every one jumping on the bandwagon that the players are guilty and she is the victim. How do we know? Skin color shouldn’t matter in this case at all, but that is all the media is doing, making it a race issue. Color of the skin does not make a difference on either side. People who are making it an issue are promoting racism and preventing equality. I hope the truth comes out and if she is lying, she does not get a penny from the families of the players, who actually worked hard for their money. People are holding the wealth of the Duke players against them. Saying thet feel theycan get away with anything. People should realize that the hard work that these two families put forth to earn their fortune should not be held agains them.

  • Tim

    Found this from another site.

    There is a simple way to end the racial hysteria surrounding the Duke Lacrosse team. Simply tell people it was El Duke,
    not Duke players that were accused the rape of a white woman, and the same civil rights leaders who are lynching the Duke Players would lynch the racist DA…..

    I can see it now, "racist DA perpetuates black rape myth." And of course the nails were planted by a racist cop, "If the nails don’t clip you must acquit."

  • William Gissy,

    Have you ever read anything on the Acton webpage or Anthony Bradley? It must be repeated 25 times a day that individuals must use morals and ethics in their OWN economic decisions.

    Please read a few articles before you condemn one of the top group of thinkers in the USA (and now worldwide).


  • johnny latte

    Give me a break. Too much moral high-handedness, with all respect. These are college KIDS and a a couple of them decided to call a low-rent escort service for some entertainment. What happened at the end of that night who knows, but to insinuate that there was a rape is already convicting those kids (when there are some many facts that make it very very murky).

    and yes. Mike Nifong is a total joke.

    The President of Duke has turned his back on his students. Real nice.
    Presumed innocence?
    I guess not in Anothony Bradley’s world.

  • Steve

    I don’t understand the assumption in the article that the players are guilty.



  • Marlon

    GREAT article???? FUNNY article…

    what amerikkka do yall live wherein a european man would succumb 2 pangs of conscience and SUDDENLY do da RIGHT thang (instead of continuing 2 do da dirt 2 which he is accustomed)???

    Perhaps i should have read some of Mr. Bradley’s other articles before i responded 2 this one (n i probly wouldna responded at all)…

    Danny DaHart’s response is REALLY funny (he CAN’T be SERIOUS).

  • Sorry, Marlon. You lost me at “amerikkka.”

  • Susan Graives

    My opinion…..I believe the girl is protecting a brother, the only brother at the party. Things were not suppose to go this far. The DA wanted noteriety, and went national with this story. She just wanted to get paid.
    Now what is she going to do? The only person at the party who’s not given a DNA sample is one man. If the defence finds a DNA match for him, all heck is gong to break loose.

  • William Gissy

    Well Johnnie,

    Your comment was pointless. That we live in a world where not everyone adheres to moral standards should never come as a surprise. Now I offer no apologies for my belief that the long run effect of the Gospel of Libretarianism is the decline of moral standards for they do require outward thinking.

    Acton people a Top group…sure..ok

  • paulhue

    What convinces Bradley that a rape occured? It looks to me like no rape occured, and the only "coming forward" and "telling the truth" that has yet to occur is the accuser doing so.

  • FriendsofDukeLacrosse

    Perhaps, what we need is one woman hero. One woman who will tell the truth about what happened that night. There is only one woman who can do this, and we all know who she is. The other thing we know about her is that she is no "hero". Far from it.

  • Tom

    I have just read each response to this article and found some interesting trends. By far the largest percent of people are responding to the events of that night. Fewer responded to the theme of the article. The former prioritise justice in this case. The later prioritise the broader issue of our culture and to what degree of moral outrage is merited from this story.

    However, the troublesome impression I get is the common theme each share; bias. For example, reminiscient of the OJ trial, the perspective of justice seems to follow racial lines. Unlike the OJ trial this case also seems to have a gender bias.
    The cultural example is the father who can’t, or won’t, tell his sons that hiring strippers is not appropriate behaviour may be in reality reacting to his worldview. "After all, boys like naked women" you can’t stop this behavior.

    These two reactions indicate to me that human nature is not really interested in justice or decency but defending our own. Our tendancies are so "ethno-centric" that we have some strange notion that preserving our kind is, by default, somehow just and decent. We need to become free from this deception to build "life sustaining and dignity enhancing societies."

    It seems to me our hero’s ought to be those who step out of their bias and defend truth. Suppose the woman was raped. Then yes, our hero should be the Duke lacrosse (white – male) player who steps forward and tells the truth. White America should applaud him! But suppose the woman is lying, then the feminist and the black community should demand her prosecution. In each case, nothing justifies wrongdoing.

    In closing I have two final thoughts. First, as we follow this story I urge each of us to be careful. We only know what we are being fed by lawyers, prosecuters and media. We are being played like an instruement. But every day, on a far lesser scale, we all face issues of justice and decency. I wonder how often are we enslaved by our bias? I know I struggle with this. Second, it is true we live in a society in which we are free to hire strippers or be strippers. But can anyone defend the virue in this?

  • Dean Tlustos

    Of course, people don’t want to address the point of morality (individual or collective). That’s probably because, at the end of the day, people want to be able to do whatever it is they want to do, and they want to do it without anyone telling them it is wrong. In other words, people don’t want accountability. Further, many people buy into a post-modern view that morality is whatever one wants to call it, but it is individually defined.

    I don’t think you will get a lot of "takers" on your challenge to defend the degrading of women; people are going to want to reject the terms of your argument, even if they don’t understand that is what they are doing. But I agree with your premise that the problem with the Duke Lacrosse scandal actually begins way before the inappropriate acts which allegedly took place. The discussion which needs to take place must ask questions like "Why do we not expect/demand more from our athletes, our students, our neighbors, ourselves?" Why do we permit this?

  • Greg

    WOW, you sir are right on about the problems with our culture. We treat the college years as a "get out of responsibility free’ card. As if life was a giant game of Manopoly. We then expect a college graduate to magically be responsible and to act morrally. But what we have is a training ground for a life time of bad behavior. You are very correct in saying that this scandal did not begin on the night of the party. These "men" have engaged in "illegal behaviors many times before. If there is a person under the legal drinking age at these parties and that person is given alcohol, that is an illegal act. But because no one tries to stop this type of behavior, it will continue. As far as the alleged sexual assaults, I can’t say if it happenned or not. Hopefully the DA in Durham will stop playing to the media circus and get on with the trial so these men and the alleged victim can have their day in court. Whether they did these acts or not, they set themselves up for trouble the moment they decided to engage in this type of behavior. Let that be an example to all those who are considering engaging in these activities.

  • Heather Bacus

    This is such a sad situation. It involves race, violence, and oppression. BUT IT MIGHT NEVER HAVE HAPPENED IF SOMEONE OVER 21 YEARS OF AGE HADN’T SUPPLIED ALCOHOL TO A GROUP OF STUDENTS UNDER 21 YEARS OF AGE. We all know young people can struggle with self-control under the best of circumstances, but when the judgment center of a young brain is impaired by alcohol and other drugs–levels of violence and sexual assault soar. It’s estimated alcohol is involved in about 70%% of all rapes–either the perpetrator is under the influence or the victim or both. The young men who are guilty absolutely need to experience the consequences of their actions, but why aren’t the adults who were over 21 who also broke the law by supplying a controlled substance to minors also experiencing some consequences? Why do we repeatedly hold minors who drink to a higher standard under the law than adults who supply? NO ONE SEEMS TO SEE THIS CONNECTION! Will someone stand up and be a hero here? Will someone refuse to wink at illegal ADULT behavior that fuels youthful criminal actions with alcohol?

  • Lance Wilks

    First, you assume in your commentary that the boys DID rape that girl. Maybe a little presumptiuous (?) given the plaintiff’s past record of sexual allegations and present employment. Have you kept up with the legal precedings?

    Second, I do agree with you that the team showed very poor moral judgement in their activities that night by hiring a stripper, underage driking, etc. BUT, if you want a hero to emerge and declare that it was immoral to partake in this debachery, i support that as long as it is against the behaviors that are OBJECTIVE. We have no idea if a rape did occur, and based on the evidence presented by the media and witnesses, I am inclined to say, "support the innocence" of the players.
    A better epiphany of morality for the nation would be if entertainers, namely rap artists, would cease to condone the flippant treatment of women in their music videos. This, I think, would serve as a more influential message to the nation and our youth than a team of lacrosse players. Wouldn’t it be great if the rappers could sell their wholesome merchandise and promote their positive messages while at the same time being known as kind, moral servants of the public good?

  • Jack Spratt

    This case sounds more and more like a dispute that was blown up into a "rape" as things moved along.

    While your commentary poses a real question as to what these young men were doing hiring a stripper in the first place. You undermine any legitimacy by nearly convicting the accused by asking for a hero to emerge.

    The facts will provide the hero. They may prove that the stripper lied about it all, or not. As the case moves forward it looks as if the prosicution is running into a progressively more difficult case, wich is undermined by the charecter of the victim, her history, and the evidence.

    I do hope justice is served. Served better than this flawed opinion proposes.

  • a

    We need the woman who is accusing the boys to step up and tell the truth. She is lying and she is ruining the lives of talented, intelligent young men to gain a financial advantage for herself. The other stripper is tryign to "spin this to her advantage" The photo lineup was only Duke lacrosse player. Reade Seligman has a strong allibi and could not have even been there. The case went from 30 white men raping her to three. It is OBVIOUS she is lying. Mike Nifong has handled this situatio nterribly trying to use this case for his advantage and should not be allowed to practice law anywhere ever again. This is a similar situation to Tawana Bradley and she is hurting the credibility of future rape victims. My suggestion for you Mr. Bradley is to write an article telling her to step up, but she wouldn’t be a hero. She tried to run over a police officer, is a frequent drug user, and is a stripper. She is no hero. She in no victim. If it turns out she is lying she should go to jail for a longtime. How is it that the bail for a murder suspect is 50,000 in Durham and the bail for the Duke players was 400,000. Mike Nifong is a terrible, terrible man and is becoming a joke. I don’t see anyone taking him seriously after this is all done. With the pressures from the over politically correct media Duke cancelled the lacrosse season and forced the coach to resign. With NO EVIDENCE. That is terrible Duke University and you should be ashamed. You owe your students a large apology. Support the players.

  • sheep

    First of all ,love my lord

  • bill

    I can’t believe you wrote this column. It stings to know that your column perpetuates the victim mentality of the black community. As far as I am concerned, no lacrosse player will come forward to tell a lie, and if the rape occured, I would be certain that one out of 46 men would tell the truth. The fact that no lacrosse player has stepped forward to support the complainant’s story, only reinforces my judgment that these players not only should be presumed innocent, but that they are very likely innocent in fact.
    I was also upset to hear an NC Central student quoted as saying essentially, I hope these guys get convicted to redress past wrongs, even if they didn’t commit this particular crime. Unfortunately, your column seems to support this point of view. A lynching is a lynching, no matter what the color of the victim.
    In my view this case is the Scottsboro boys all over again. I hope it doesn’t end up like the OJ Simpson case in reverse.

  • JJ

    Great comment. This article assumes they are guilty when it clearly looks day in and day out like they are innocent. Jesse Jackson has already guaranteed he will pay for her college education regardless if she is lying. When it is proved that she was telling "fantastic lies" will she get the money? That is a question that bothers me, a student, who has to pay for my entire college education by working two jobs. If the NCCU student is lying, she will get a scholarship for LYING. That is just WRONG. When the woman realized she would be in more troubl for being intoxicated in public, she made up a story to get herself off the hook and blame the Duke lacrosse players for raping her. Why not, she could always play the RACE card and have several prominent people, afraid of offending people with the TRUTH such as the Duke adminstration and professors, jump on the racial bandwagon. That is exactly what she did and she ruined three lives in the process and a season for student athletes who will never get 2006 back. It is a shame. Reade Seligman is innocent. Collin Finnert is innocent. David Evans is certainly innocent. There is only one criminal. The accuser. She should be punished for her lies, not receiving money to pay for her education.

  • Fidelbogen

    I substantially agree with all of the other posted commentaries. The defendents are to be given the benefit of due process, which includes presumption of innocence! Their guilt has NOT been established, and ANY rush to preemptive moral judgment is highly inappropriate.

    And I’m not certain that any "heroes" will emerge from all of this. But regardless, let justice be served.

  • Fidelbogen

    Adding to my previous comment: If any "hero" is needed in the present case, that hero should step from the ranks of the PC-Left, in order to issue a general apology on behalf of that entire cultural pod for its shameful rush-to-judgement lynch mob behavior.

    Do I have any takers? Heroism, anyone….? Go for it — Lord Acton would be proud of you!

  • Jon

    Well said. The politically correct left wing owes the Duke lacrosse team, the players, involved, and the university and all students a huge apology. If a liberal steps up and apologizes for ruining innocent young men’s lives, they would be my hero.

  • richelato

    I see your commentary was written in April. I would hope in light of what has come out since your opinion piece, that you now have the good sense to update it. The lack of DNA, the previous accusations and the time line that makes at least one of the accused not there at the alledged moment.

    Why not be a "hero" and admit you jumped to a pre-mature conclusion.

  • Tim

    Where is your piece with an apology? Everyone who jumped on the "lynch" bandwagon needs to appologize to every future rape victim because in the future the credibility of rape victims will be diminished in cases like. I would hate to see someone who was actually raped not be taken seriously because people feel she made it up like the woman in the Duke case, but it is probably going to happen. The liberal, race card playing media is to blame for that. Mike Nifong should be STRIPPED OF ALL of his rights to practice law in the state of North Carolina for his actions in this case. The fact that he has not yet been thrown off or dropped the case is mind boggling. Judge Titus should also be in jeapordy of losing his job for the way he has handled the Duke players as well. They are doing everything in their power to frame the Duke three, but without EVIDENCE no frame will work Mr. Nifong and Mr. Titus. Both of those men buried themselves in a whole that potentially could ruin their careers and I hope it does. My faith in the justice system HAS DECREASED drastically for the way this situation was handled.

    What about the professors at Duke who abandoned their players and made their lives even harder in a tough time? I have not read about one professor stepping up to support their students, but have heard several accounts of Duke professors punishing students for not being in class when they were legally bound to be somewhere else. One explanation, you shouldn’t have been at a party where a rape occured. This one case was with a female Duke professor and one of the students not on trial for rape and this was in April way before it appeared as if the case was what is is, A HOAX. Has she apologized to that student for not only assuming he was guilty, but hurting his mark in that class because he was required by Nifong to be somewhere.

    Will these kids ever live normal lives again? NO, they will not. That is the biggest shame and the most heinous crime in the entire situation! Before, if you said you went to Duke people would be very impressed, but now if these kids say they play/played lacrosse at Duke they will not be looked at in a positive light.

    Where are the consequences for the accuser? She was on her way to being convicted of a crime on the night she made the entire story up, but made up the story and is now off scotch free. She has caused so much harm and damage to so many people on so many different levels and not only needs to apologize, but when she admits she made the whole thing up she needs to go to jail for a long time.

    The people that apologize for lynching the Duke kids and admitting they were wrong, they would be my hero.

    Yet, most importantly if Mr. Acton Institute himself Anthony Bradley stepped up and wrote a column with an apology to every member of the Duke lacrosse team, their families, and the university, he would be my hero. Step up Mr. Bradley and DO WHAT IS RIGHT.

  • ml

    Care to update your comments in light of the new facts that have come out about the case? It appears that all of the players were heros all along and were telling the truth from the beginning. Would you now acknowledge that your call for action had already been answered before your presumptive piece was ever written?

  • Melinda

    My main concern is on the accuser being in an unhealthy lifestyle which guarantees destruction and failure.
    The mother of two, soon to be three children, puts herself at risk especially when there is substance abuse involved. If I was her mother, I would ‘snatch a knot in her head’ for such poor judgement.
    I would like to kick the LaCrosse team for equally poor judgement. I hope their party was worth the misery which has befallen so many.
    Would that everyone involved learn from this and rectify accordingly.

  • Clifford Washington

    Not so fast….the orginal intent and focus of the article does not change. The MEN placed themselves in a position or a relationship that: "There is outrage aplenty, but the sources of the problem are deeper than alleged acts of sexual assault. Why is there no national outrage about the fact that two adult women subjected themselves to voyeuristic, live pornography? What kind of men do we raise in America that they would even want to hire a stripper"?

    The above fact does not change due to the recent developments, does it?

  • No, it does not. Not one bit.

  • City

    Anthony B. Bradley is a disgrace. I guess the chance to make a name for himself by being judge and jury over the accused is over so he now has little to say. It is too bad he was never taught to be a "hero" to his readers and print a retraction or better yet resign.

  • Anthony, please – I’m begging you – write another article on this topic or update this one. There’s a whole cadre of people out here that apparently can’t get it through their heads that the fact that the accuser wasn’t telling the truth MAKES NO DIFFERENCE WHATSOEVER TO THE REAL POINT OF YOUR ARTICLE. Please, please, PLEASE force these people to STOP MISSING THE POINT.

  • Brad Petersen

    This article makes a mockery of the masthead statement: "bringing moral reflection to bear upon current issues." Apparently that "moral reflection" doesn’t require familiarity with basic concepts such as "innocent until proven guilty." And while Bradley arrogantly lectures others about their moral responsbilites, note that a year after the hoax began, he doesn’t appear to have apologized. What about that moral responsibility? At first Bradley was a fool — a forgiveable offense. Now he’s just a disgrace.