University of Minnesota football team ends boycott after reading sexual assault report

Source: Getty Images
Source: Getty Images

After 10 of its players were accused of sexual assault, the football team at the University of Minnesota resolved to boycott the upcoming Holiday Bowl against Washington State. Then they read the 80-page report detailing the allegations and reconsidered. 

On Saturday, the team's senior leadership decided that the new information "changed the narrative," the Minneapolis Star Tribune reported. The Gophers will now face off against Washington State on Dec. 27 as scheduled.

"As a team, we understand that what has occurred these past few days, and playing football for the University of Minnesota, is larger than just us," Drew Wolitarsky, a senior and the team's chosen spokesperson, said Saturday morning. He announced an end to the boycott after the players held an early-morning meeting to discuss the school's Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action report, made public on Friday.

Players met with University President Eric Kaler Friday night, apparently committed to standing with their teammates who are currently accused in connection with a Sept. 2 incident that followed the football season opener. A female student alleged she had consensual sex with one player, but was then forced into sex with others. Six players were involved in the incident, according to NBC, and it's "unclear" why the other four men had been implicated. 

All 10 players have been suspended, the Star Tribune reported, but some Gophers felt that Kaler and athletic director Mark Coyle needed to be more transparent about the motivations behind the suspension, thus the boycott. But the report, according to the Star Tribune, proved "game-changing." The players also received input from their parents, some of whom had read the EOAA report.

"Let me first state so there is no misperception: Sexual harassment and violence against women have no place on this campus, on our team, in our society and at no time is it ever condoned," Wolitarsky said Saturday, according to the Star Tribune. "There is only one acceptable way to treat all women and all men, and that is with the utmost respect at all times."

How likely are you to make Mic your go-to news source?

Claire Lampen

Claire is a staff writer at Mic who covers women's issues and reproductive rights. She is based in New York and can be reached at claire@mic.com.

MORE FROM

Serena Williams responds to John McEnroe's comments saying she would rank "like 700" against men

Williams said his statements were "not factually based."

People are way less likely to be helpful when it's hot out, according to study

Sorry, it's too hot out to help you move.

Democrats, the American Medical Association and US bishops blast the Senate health care bill

According to the Congressional Budget Office, 15 million more Americans will be without health insurance next year if the bill passes.

Dow Jones won’t talk about its reported pay gap problem

A study released by the union representing Dow Jones employees found evidence of a "significant pay gap between men and women" who had the same job title and level of experience.

Mom slams ACA repeal, shows what's at stake in a tweetstorm about son's health

This mom says that without the ACA, her son wouldn't get the medical care he desperately needs.

Theresa May announces pact with Northern Ireland's conservative DUP

10 of the DUP's MPs will vote alongside May's party in exchange for more than $1 billion of funds.

Serena Williams responds to John McEnroe's comments saying she would rank "like 700" against men

Williams said his statements were "not factually based."

People are way less likely to be helpful when it's hot out, according to study

Sorry, it's too hot out to help you move.

Democrats, the American Medical Association and US bishops blast the Senate health care bill

According to the Congressional Budget Office, 15 million more Americans will be without health insurance next year if the bill passes.

Dow Jones won’t talk about its reported pay gap problem

A study released by the union representing Dow Jones employees found evidence of a "significant pay gap between men and women" who had the same job title and level of experience.

Mom slams ACA repeal, shows what's at stake in a tweetstorm about son's health

This mom says that without the ACA, her son wouldn't get the medical care he desperately needs.

Theresa May announces pact with Northern Ireland's conservative DUP

10 of the DUP's MPs will vote alongside May's party in exchange for more than $1 billion of funds.