Opinion: Don’t dismiss the victim of alleged Antonio Brown rape

Samuel P. TuckerSports Writer

According to a civil lawsuit filed in the Southern District of Florida federal court, Antonio Brown has been accused of sexual assault by former Central Michigan gymnast Britney Taylor. I am not writing to condemn Antonio Brown, nor proclaim his innocence. I am writing to tell you – the reader – my own story, of my own rape.

In 2007, I was raped for the first time by my older half-brother. He was twelve at the time, I was seven. However, I was not raped just once, I was raped nearly everyday for two years straight. Every day I would come home from school at three o’clock, and my brother would be waiting, ready to take every ounce of innocence and childhood I had ever known. He himself was but a child and may or may not have understood exactly what he was doing but that possibility does not change my reality: I was being raped.

I did not know what the word rape was, or what it meant until after the saga of my pre-double-digit age life. Britney Taylor does and did know what it meant when she was supposedly raped by Brown. Britney Taylor knew what her options were and chose not to act on them until now, which is perfectly acceptable. Rape is a very hard thing to talk about for anyone, especially when the alleged person who raped you is as famous and high profile of an athlete as Brown, and when and how you choose to come forward about it is each person’s individual choice.

In 2009, when I was just nine years old, I told my mom what my brother had done to me. I was lucky in that my mom believed me immediately. She didn’t ask questions, she didn’t want a clarification of what I said. Instead she asked me to get my dad and told me to take my little brother and go to our friend’s house across the street. Had my mom not believed me that day, or had she not known what to do, my life may have turned out much differently than it did.

My brother was arrested that night and taken to a juvenile detention center. I didn’t see him again for nearly four years, and when I did see him, we spoke nothing of the events that changed my life forever.

You may be asking yourself, how does this relate to Antonio Brown?

The answer is this: when I was raped, I made an outcry to my mom and she believed me on the spot because I am her son. However, in the coming days, weeks, and even months, people are going to question the validity of Britney Taylor’s accusations against Antonio Brown because they know Brown through their televisions and nothing about a girl who went to a school in Michigan that people only remember because of the phrase “rock the boat.” Antonio Brown is a famous football player, Britney Taylor is not famous at all. The reality is, the public is more inclined to believe a face they know over a face they’ve never seen and a voice they’ve never heard. Just as my mom was more inclined to believe the son she conceived, over the son she inherited.

At the beginning of this story I told you I was not here to prove innocence or guilt, only a court can do that, but remember this: the face you know is not always greater than the voice you don’t. My rape did happen, I was there; I felt the pain; I cried the tears, and if Britney Taylor’s rape happened as well, then she felt the pain and cried the tears as well. Do not assume innocence or guilt, leave that to the courts, but don’t dismiss the girl from a school you’ve barely ever heard of simply because Antonio Brown has been on Sportscenter more times than you can count.

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