So, I am very angry writing this blog post. I have tried very hard to keep this drama out of my blogs, but I cannot do it any longer. I have played lacrosse since I was 6 years old. I am now 22. And sadly, I was forced to leave my team this past Thursday evening. When I say forced, I was not actually told to leave the team, but I left because I could not longer stand for the emotional, and verbal abuse I was receiving on a daily basis. My coaches and the freshmen on my former lacrosse team were belittling and degrading me on a daily basis. I was forced to suck up to the freshmen, kiss their feet, and go out of my way to make them comfortable (at my own expense) while they bashed me publicly to other student athletes at my university, and texted me harassing messages on a weekend basis (while they were participating in illegal activities).
I was tired of the abuse, and of course I wanted to stick it out to not appear a quitter, but it had gotten to the point my character was being questioned, and I was not going to “stick that out” any longer. I was tired of crying myself to sleep at night fearing the adversity that I would face at practice the next morning. I cried when I woke up hoping that I would get in a fender bender on the way to practice so I would not make it there in time. I was so tired all the time from all of the crying. I was tired of being treated like shit by not only my coaches, but by the girls who were supposed to be my teammates. I’m sure many of you have seen the article about which I am writing, and if you have read any of my blog posts prior to this one, you will know that I am not someone who is violent; I only want to help people. I feel as if me being so brutally honest with the world about my anxiety and depression has shown that I am a trustworthy person who is always brutally honest. So, take this as you’d like, but Bryan Renbaum’s post is complete and utter bull shit. He took a letter written by one of the freshman’s parents/ Coach and posted it on an online newspaper. He did not interview anyone but the male head coach, who declined the comments that he attempted to put in his mouth. Not that I am, in any way, standing up for the coach because he has made me cry multiple times, and put myself in physical and emotional danger for the past year and a half.
I came on this women’s lacrosse team for NOTHING. They needed a goalie, and I turned my life upside down to help them out. Quitting my full time job, losing income, switching classes around, missing out on sorority events, everything. Grant it, I could have turned that opportunity down, but I would not have met one of my best friends if I had turned that opportunity down. I have met some amazing women through this program, and the sad part is, my closest friends are the ones being slandered.
I believe I have enough character, and enough respect for myself to not surround myself with violent people. And I have stuck to that. NONE of these girls had any ill intentions, and the freshmen just wanted to get us upperclassman in trouble, and they strive for any little bit of attention they can get.
Many people have asked me why we did not go to the Athletic Director when all of this bullying by the freshmen began. My answer is we could not. We went to the athletic director, assistant athletic director, and the Student Affairs office at UMBC, and they all turned a blind eye last year after my coach threw a stool at a teammate. We went to them and they gave my coach a slap on the wrist. He called us terrible people, weak people, and many other worse names on a daily basis, but none of that abuse was towards the freshmen class, and none of it was taken seriously by the school’s athletic administration.
I am not saying that the things said in our PRIVATE group me were not inappropriate, they were. But they also were meant for our eyes only, and were deleted off of most of our phones a few days after they were said. There was one player whose phone was stolen and the pictures were taken from there. These pictures were taken three weeks after the comments were made, thus they were a mere source of venting so we did not engage in self-destructive behaviors. I am sure that 99% of people have said shit they did not mean because they were speaking from a place of emotion. If you haven’t good for you, but you’re also probably a robot. Humans are made from emotion. Emotion is love. Emotion is hate. Emotion is happiness. Emotion is anger. And emotion is every little thing in between. Emotions are the reason this Earth functions the way it does. If we are going to shit on emotions, then we might as well shit on the whole freaking human race.
I am disgusted with the freshmen class of my team, their parents, the coaches, the athletic administration, and the university administration. All of these people have either purposefully stolen things, slandered women, abused women, or turned their eye to the abuse that was ongoing in order to save their own ass.
I am EXTREMELY thankful that I am graduating in May because after all of this bull shit that my school has tried to sweep under the rug, if I was not a senior, I would most likely transfer. I cannot stand for a school that perpetuates and condones the abuse of young women on a daily basis.
So, basically, as angry as I am, I need to let it go and live my sorority’s motto. Esse quam videri; to be rather than to seem to be. I need to be me because there is only one of me, and despite the mistakes I have made, I’m pretty damn great.
And to all my TRUE teammates out there, you know who you are, be you. Because you’re pretty damn great too.