I have no idea if Mel Tucker thought things were consensual — or if he even asked. I’m clueless when it comes to knowing if Brenda Tracy had a motive. But what I, and you, know is that Mel Tucker owned up to doing what he did — making “sexual comments” about Tracy while “masturbating” during a “late-night intimate conversation” that lasted 36 minutes. It’s hard to play the victim when you literally get caught with your pants down.
With the news that Michigan State University has announced that they intend to fire Tucker with cause — their head football coach who signed a 10-year, $95 million extension in 2021 — due to the school knowing of the allegations since December, Tucker is now playing offense and is claiming that “other motives are at play.”
“Let’s be clear. I don’t believe MSU plans to fire me because I admitted to an entirely consensual, private relationship with another adult who gave one presentation at MSU, at my behest, over two years ago,” said Tucker.
“MSU knew about the information on which it supposedly relies to end my contract since at least March 2023,” Tucker wrote in his statement. “Yet only after Ms. Tracy and potentially others leaked the confidential investigation report to the press, did MSU suddenly decide this same information warrants termination.”
“MSU sent its notice of intent to terminate just days after I emailed [Michigan State athletic director] Alan Haller requesting a medical leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act for a serious health condition. I can only conclude that MSU does not care about my rights, the truth, or its future liability for policing its employees’ private lives.”
Despite the legalities that may be at play when it comes to how Michigan State has handled this entire situation, the rights that Tucker may or may not have — and if they’ve been violated — or the allegations about who and why Tracy’s name was leaked to the public, we know how this is more than likely going to end. Tucker is about to lose all the money that was left on his contract because he had everything to lose and nothing to gain.
But, let’s get to what this is really about.
On the surface, this is a case about a man and woman and what did or didn’t happen, and whose side you believe in a he-said-she-said tug-of-war. But, at the core of this is race, because this is about a Black man and a white woman. And in America, one has been historically stereotyped as an animalistic savage that lacks discretion, and intellect, and the other has always been viewed as a pure, pristine, and believable victim/witness — most of the time.
It’s a very touchy situation. For instance, Carolyn Bryant Donham died at the age of 88 earlier this year. The woman whose lies played a huge part in the brutal murder of Emmitt Till in 1955 is a glaring example of many Black people’s disbelief of a white woman’s allegations against a Black man.
“Carolyn Bryant’s death brings a conclusion to a painful chapter for the Emmett Till family and for Black peoples in America,” wrote Malik Shabazz, with Black Lawyers for Justice, about her death — as he said her legacy “will be one of dishonesty and injustice.’ “The tragic part about Bryant’s death was that she was never held accountable for her role in the death of young Emmett Till, who is the martyr for the Civil Rights Movement.”
“Sixty-eight years ago, there was the unspeakable murder of Emmett Till, a 14-year-old Black boy from Chicago. It has comforted America to see this as a story about monsters, her one of them,” wrote Timothy Tyson, who claims that Donham told him, “That part’s not true,” about the allegation that Till grabbed her hand and waist before telling her he had been with “White women before.’ “But the truth is what was unspeakable was the American social order that did nothing about Emmett Till or thousands more like him.”
And then there’s the other side, like when both Black and white people failed to believe Antia Hill — a Black woman.
“I had important information about an individual who was picked to sit for a lifetime appointment on our country’s highest court,” said the woman who testified that the then-Supreme Court nominee Clarence Thomas had sexually harassed her when he was chair of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission in 1991. She testified before a committee of 14 white men, led by Joe Biden, and was grilled on television. “It was not just a professional duty as a lawyer, but I believed it was my ethical responsibility to come forward in the best way, and the most effective way that I could — and that’s what I did.”
“Hearing from them, just realizing that I was not alone in facing this kind of scrutiny, and actual hostility, was affirming,” Hill told NPR in 2021 about the similar stories she heard from others at the time.
Downplaying — or ignoring — the racial dynamics at play here means you’ve chosen to view this entire scenario from an unrealistic point of view. There’s a reason some Black people — and Black men — are on Tucker’s side, and it doesn’t have anything to do with misogyny. And given that the #MeToo Movement was a long overdue reckoning that exposed the copious amounts of sexual harassment and assault that women have endured for centuries, there are people who believe Tracy’s allegations because they want you to listen to women, or have been in her shoes.
But, despite all the things at play here. All of us — Black, white, man, woman, transgender, or non-binary — can agree on one thing. This whole situation could have been avoided if Mel Tucker didn’t pick up the phone that night and would have kept his pants zipped up.
Original source here
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