Social media can be the absolute worst sometimes….mostly all the time.
A former New York sportswriter mustered up the courage to reveal in an explosive emotional essay how she was raped by a Major League Baseball player in a hotel room almost 20 years ago.
Kat O’Brien was 22 and interviewing the unnamed player for a story about foreign-born sluggers adapting to US culture when he “moved suddenly to kiss me,” she wrote in a first-person column Sunday in the New York Times.
“I said, no, no, I don’t want that, but he pushed me over to the bed,’’ said O’Brien.
“I tried to shove him,’’ she recalled. “I said no, stop, no, stop, over and over. He pushed further, getting on top of me, pulling off my skirt, and having sex with me against my will.
“Afterward, I remember getting in my car, shaking, to drive home, and looking at my blue-and-white skirt from Express, and thinking why did I have to be wearing a skirt? Because it was Texas in summer,’’ O’Brien said.
“I remember, once I got back to my apartment, drinking a bottle of red wine in a desperate attempt to numb my sadness and rage. Instead, I threw up all over the carpet.’’
The former journalist said she never reported the 2002 attack because “I knew that if I told anyone what happened that it would ruin my career.”
“I was 22 with no track record, and at that time — nearly two decades ago — most people in baseball would have rallied to protect the athlete. So I blamed myself,” she wrote.
“I must have been too nice, too trusting, too friendly and open. Even though I said no, it must have been a misunderstanding.”
After posting on Twitter about it, she got hit an assortment of comments from people asking why she took to long to say something and asking to reveal the player.
Soon after she was raped, she said, she ran into an All-Star player in the Arlington, Texas, ballpark’s visiting-team clubhouse, and he “stared at me, saying my name and the name of his teammate, the man who had raped me.”
“Suddenly I realized [the rapist] must have told people, making himself out to be a stud and me some girl who was there to pick up ball players instead of do my job,” O’Brien wrote.
“I choose not to name him because it would only open me up to the possibility of having dirt thrown on my reputation; even all these years later and in the wake of the #MeToo movement, a former professional athlete wields considerable power,” she wrote in the gut-wrenching column.
“I hope I can help bring about systemic change rather than seek unlikely-to-come justice for one horrible act.”