First, a very brief back story. There was an alleged rape involving a football player at a party of football players, and 10 Gophers have been suspended for the bowl game by the University. The Football team, with the support of their coach, is now threatening to boycott the bowl game.
I normally couldn’t care less about the Gophers or their problems, but this one is affecting the MAC. Before anyone gets all up in arms, I fully understand the problem with rape on college campuses, and I also understand due process and all the angles of this story. I am not down playing either situation. I also don’t have the full details of this particular case. It’s irrelevant to my argument.
What I am talking about is the “almost” boycott. The quasi-boycott. The Diet Coke of boycotts. Either do it, or don’t, because the Gophers are greatly affecting Northern Illinois and their plans for this Holiday Season. Before this news broke, they were planning to spend Christmas with their families. Now, they are in limbo, wondering if they need to start the football machine up again.
All actions have consequences. Minnesota’s threats have consequences which impact many other people. It’s extremely weak to threaten a boycott, but then tell the Holiday Bowl officials to have patience while they try to “work it out”. Either the cause is worthy of a boycott, or it isn’t. Quite frankly, the Holiday Bowl should grow a pair and say, “We’ve decided to go a different direction”. I guarantee if told my boss I was potentially going to boycott my job, I wouldn’t have one. Why should the Gophers get that option?
There are travel plans to be made, tickets that need purchased and practices that need scheduled. It’s completely selfish of the players to put another team through this. Either play the game, and work for justice through other channels, or boycott the game. Either way, I don’t care, just don’t leave literally thousands of other people and their Holiday plans in limbo while you deal with your problems.
To be clear, I am not making light of sexual assault, and calling it just a Minnesota problem. I am solely talking about the “boycott”, and it’s impact on other teams.