Public Heroes; Private Felons Hbk

Jeff Benedict, Author Northeastern University Press $19.95 (224p) ISBN 978-1-55553-316-8
Against the wishes of the Center for the Study of Sport in Society--Benedict's former employer and a recipient of financial and political support from college and pro-sports associations--Benedict has gone public with some startling findings about violent crimes against women by celebrity athletes. Contending that such crimes are not only on the rise but going unpunished, Benedict offers compelling evidence that ""as long as the perpetrator can contribute to on-field success, the sports industry turns a blind eye to the black eyes and bruised bodies of women."" Benedict examines athletes' ""rampantly permissive lifestyle,"" pointing out that although ""accused athletes often have more notorious sexual habits and histories than do their victims, it is the accuser's credibility that counts in a rape trial."" Benedict combines a look at the culture as a whole with over a decade of particular case studies, from the Nebraska football team to Mike Tyson, one of the few celebrated athletes to be convicted for rape. Benedict has plenty of evidence, but his narrative is sometimes disjointed, sometimes repetitive. And while he's clearly passionate about the injustice he sees, a cooler, more objective tone would have been more compelling. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 09/01/1997
Release date: 09/01/1997
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