Harvard cancelled the rest of the men’s soccer season on Thursday after officials discovered members of the men’s team rated women’s team members in sexually explicit terms.
Saturday’s game against Columbia and next weekend’s match at Penn were cancelled. Harvard was in first in the Ivy League standings with a 4-0 conference record.
According to the New York Times, athletic director Robert L. Scalise wrote in an email to student-athletes: “We strongly believe that this immediate and significant action is absolutely necessary if we are to create an environment of mutual support, respect and trust among our students and our teams.”
Last week, the campus newspaper The Harvard Crimson reported that a player created a document that numerically rated the incoming freshmen on the women’s team based on their appearance. It was called a “scouting report.”
On Saturday, six women wrote a response published in the Crimson about the report. It said, in part:
“We are these women, we are not anonymous, and rather than having our comments taken, spun, and published behind the guise of a fake anonymity offered to us by numerous news outlets, we have decided to speak for ourselves.
When first notified of this “scouting report” each of us responded with surprise and confusion, but ultimately brushed off the news as if it didn’t really matter. As if we weren’t surprised men had spoken of us inappropriately. As if this kind of thing was just, “normal.”<
The sad reality is that we have come to expect this kind of behavior from so many men, that it is so “normal” to us we often decide it is not worth our time or effort to dwell on. Yet as the media has taken advantage of the Harvard name once more, it has become increasingly difficult to evade the pervasiveness of this story, harder still to elude the abhorrent judgment of our peers and the outrageous Internet commentary of the public, and hardest to subdue the embarrassment, disgust, and pain we feel as a result.”