A 16-year-old girl being raped by two high school football players and then publicly humiliated about it in Steubenville, Ohio last year was bad enough without considering the fact that the suspects may have gotten away with it if Steubenville High School football coach Reno Saccoccia had anything to do with it. Turns out, he knew about the rape the whole time and didn’t bother to tell anyone. In fact, it took him two months – that’s eight whole weeks – to even consider suspending the guilty parties from the team, and he did that begrudingly.
Luckily, Trent Mays, 17, and Ma’lik Richmond, 16, were both found guilty of rape last month and will be forced to pay for their horrendous crime. The same can’t be said for Saccoccia, whose negligence and outright failure to do anything at all was not only overlooked but instead rewarded, as it was announced this week that Steubenville High School has offered him a two year contract extension and in doing so, let everyone know just how little they care about an innocent girl being brutally violated in such a way.
But it’s not over. Activist website UltraViolet has launched an online petition calling for justice against Reno Saccoccia and demanding his dismissal as coach of Steubenville’s football team. Will it happen? We can’t say. But as with any injustice, we can’t sit back and say nothing. Sign the petition to make your voice heard and to send the clear message that rape – or covering one up – is never, ever okay.