Editorial: Staying silent perpetuates the problem

When presidential election season rolls around, the American public is treated to plenty of scandals and mud-slinging. But this time around, Republican candidate Donald Trump has been in full, inappropriate form throughout.

This egregious behavior peaked a couple weeks ago when The Washington Post released a video from 2005, featuring then-“Access Hollywood” reporter Billy Bush talking with the now-Republican candidate about how stars can “grab [women] by the p*ssy.”

This behavior is astonishing from anyone, let alone a presidential candidate. In response, Bush was fired from his job on NBC’s “TODAY Show,” but Trump continues with his presidential campaign after issuing a feeble apology video.

Then, when the Bradley University Athletics Department was asked to take a stance on Trump’s comments, they declined.

This omission was obviously done in the name of public relations; still, The Scout can’t help but feel it was an outrageous lapse of judgment.

Seeing as this is a topic regarding conversations that often take place in locker rooms, The Scout believed the individuals with the most experience inside locker rooms on this campus would be student athletes.

The Athletic Department asks our reporters to set up interviews with athletes through department communications staff. By barring us access, we are unable to gather information from appropriate sources, furthering the problem.

When people see bullying and fail to report it, they become bystanders. These people have some accountability for the bully’s actions because they, whether intending to or not, ignored the situation when they could have helped instead.

In failing to speak up on Trump’s “locker room talk,” the Athletics Department has essentially enforced the bystander effect, which perpetuates rape culture.

Different standards need to be met. How can we hold a “TODAY Show” host to higher standards than we hold someone who hopes to sit as our country’s leader? How can we expect the Bradley campus’ culture to be much better when similar situations occur?

Trump’s hard-headedness is frustrating, and to see Bradley’s own Athletics Department believing their athletes are above the issue is downright discouraging.

The Scout expects more – from a presidential candidate and from an organization right here on the Hilltop. Dismissing the issue is inexcusable.

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