In less than ninety seconds, Mitch Albom proved he was no different than many other guys you will meet – unable to imagine the emotional wreckage of being raped and ignored by the people who get paid to help victims of rape and sexual assault.
While discussing the $950,000 settlement Florida State University paid to Erica Kinsman, who accused Jameis Winston of raping her then sued the university over their indifference to her case (because at the end of the day, what they demonstrated was callous indifference and negligence), Albom said the following:
“I’d feel a lot happier about this if the woman took that money and gave it to charity and said, ‘That’s not what this is about.’ I am always suspect when people end up saying, ‘Well, I’m going to take it (the money)’.”
View Albom’s comments on ESPN’s The Sports Reporters HERE
Seriously Mitch? That’s what you’ve got? Arrogance and insensitivity to a woman who was raped, reported it immediately, watched FSU AND the Tallahassee police AND the city of Tallahassee demonstrate repeated incompetence and willful negligence in taking any steps to thoroughly/properly investigate, then saw her rapist ride off into the NFL sunset with a $23.35 million contract? She did the only thing possible to hold FSU responsible by suing to hold the university accountable. And Albom thinks the settlement – the largest of its kind in a Title IX case – is suspect? I must have missed his same outrage when Winston pocketed a guaranteed sum of $16 million from that contract and failed to donate a single dollar to survivors of abuse or women’s shelters or organizations that make meaningful contributions in the lives of victims.
Maybe someday one of the five people Albom will meet in heaven will tell him that his words were offensive to every survivor of sexual abuse. That he showed incredible insensitivity. That framing the discussion around his own happiness is irrelevant. That he missed an opportunity to stand up and speak out against an epidemic level of sexual assaults on college campuses nationwide – a chance to truly make a difference to survivors, woman, girls, feminists, and people with a soul – some undoubtedly among the readers who have bought 35 million copies of his books. Instead, Mitch Albom becomes another guy telling rape survivors what they should and shouldn’t do, without ever having walked in their shoes or experiencing a moment of their pain. That the money in this settlement will not go far in making a lifetime of horror and nightmares disappear.
By opening his mouth, Albom proved that he was just one more guy telling rape survivors to “get over it.”
The thing is, we have enough of those guys- Mitch Albom shouldn’t have to wait until he gets to heaven to find that out….