What in the world were they thinking?
SB Nation, a sports blog site, published a lengthy article Wednesday about convicted serial rapist Daniel Holtzclaw, who targeted mainly vulnerable Black women when he was an Oklahoma City police officer.
Readers were outraged because the piece, which looked at Holtzclaw’s college football career, had sympathetic tone. Hours later, SB, which is owned by Vox Media, removed the article (though an archived version was still viewable).
SB’s editorial director, Spencer Hall took “full responsibility” and offered this explanation:
“The publication of this story represents a complete breakdown of a part of the editorial process at SB Nation. There were objections by senior editorial staff that went unheeded. It was tone-deaf, insensitive to the victims of sexual assault and rape, and wrongheaded in approach and execution. There is no qualification: it was a complete failure.”
The article suggested that his failure to become a professional football player likely contributed to him becoming “unhinged.” It also toys with the idea that brain trauma could be an explanation for the sexual assaults. But for many, those suggestions came across as an excuse that ignores the trauma of the victims.
In December, a jury found the former police officer guilty of 18 counts of sexual assault against 13 black women. A judge later sentenced him to 263 consecutive years in prison. Holtzclaw steadfastly maintained that he’s innocent.
SOURCE: SB Nation | PHOTO CREDIT: Getty