Millions of women are physically and mentally abused by their husbands, boyfriends, fathers, sons, or lovers. What made Tina Placourakis’ story different, reports the Arizona Republic, is that her abuser was a retired millionaire athlete, Charles “Chili” Davis, a former player for the San Francisco Giants and New York Yankees. While fans and commentators rant about steroids use, violence against women might be an even more insidious illness afflicting college and professional sports.
Studies have shown repeatedly that male athletes have a greater risk of violent behavior than non-athletes, that they are more likely to be aggressive with dating partners and more accepting of hostility toward women. One study found that male student athletes made up just 3.3 percent of the male population at universities yet were accused of 19 percent of the sexual assaults on campus. Studies have probed the relationship between athletes and violence against women, and about their sense of being “above the law.” “There’s the hubris there’s the privilege, there’s the acceptance of athletes of having character, money issues, all of those things come together,” said Jay Coakley of the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs.