Mary Elizabeth Williams, of Salon, is upset because of a “sexist” handbook for the Oakland Raiders cheerleaders. Williams writes:

In a section of the book about fraternization, it acknowledges, “There have been a few relationships between the two groups that have resulted in a few happy marriages and lovely children,” but goes on to warn, “HOWEVER, we have also had more situations where, quite frankly, the Raider organization and the Raiderettes narrowly escaped ruined reputations.” It goes on to elaborate: “One such example concerns a player who gave Halloween parties every year and many of the Raiderettes attended. This same player was suspended from the team for drug use but also arrested for date rape. For you on the squad who have attended those parties, just think how narrowly you missed having your photo in all the local papers and/or being assaulted.” And/or. Whatever. But mostly, think upon how you might have sullied the team’s good name by getting in the papers. For being raped. Oh and by the way, the definition of date rape is rape. It’s even in the state penal code! 

But the handbook may be alluding to the late defensive tackle Darrell Russell, who in 2002 was accused, along with two other men, of drugging and raping a woman Russell had been “casually dating.” The case was eventually dropped because it couldn’t be proved beyond reasonable doubt.

Here’s the accompanying photo of the cheerleaders:

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Needless to say, the team itself is heavily black (not that its white players are necessarily safe to be around either) and the cheerleaders predominantly white. With the mostly white Raiderettes, and the mostly black Raiders – and calls for the former to be wary of the latter, it’s a wonder Williams didn’t call the handbook “racist.”

As this handbook “scandal” has been making the rounds on the internet, I’m reminded of John Derbyshire’s talk that got him fired from the National Review. This author probably knew better than to mention anything about race; that way, if she found herself the subject of criticism, she could plead the lesser charge of sexism and keep her job.

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