In the weeks since ex-University of Colorado football place-kicker Katie Hnida’s accusation that she was raped by a teammate and sexually assaulted by several fellow players in 2000, seven more women have come forward alleging they were also raped by CU players or recruits.
Last week, Colorado University President Elizabeth Hoffman placed head coach Gary Barnett on paid administrative leave for comments he made about Hnida’s athletic ability, according to NBC 5 News: “It’s a guy’s sport. [Players] felt like Katie was forced on them. It was obvious Katie was not very good. She was awful. You know what guys do? They respect your ability… Katie was not only a girl, she was terrible.”
“In the context of a rape allegation, it is inappropriate to make statements about the ability of the player,” Hoffman told CNN.
The National Organization for Women (NOW) has called for Barnett’s resignation. “Aside from insulting Katie Hnida and allegedly using intimidation to protect his players, Barnett seems to be saying that bad players deserve whatever they get-including assault. With statements like this, are we to believe that Coach Barnett was completely unaware of his players’ actions?” asked NOW President Kim Gandy. “Furthermore, Barnett’s immediate ‘blame the victim’ response to media inquiries only makes it more suspicious that there was misconduct.”