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No Charges, A Broncos story: Chapter two, Rape Culture

Colin D. | August 14, 2018

Welcome to the newest feature here at the South Stands: No Charges, a Broncos story.

With these posts we’ll take a look at some of the wonderful men who compose the 2018 / 2019 edition of the team and examine some of the events that have taken place in their lives prior to their donning the orange and blue – and, in some cases, after they first slipped on a Broncos uniform, and analyze what kinds of men they are. Women – and pro players’ treatment of women – will be a common theme in the feature. The objective is to celebrate the type of people we’ll all be pulling for starting a few Sundays from now.

Chapter Two in our story, Rape Culture

Denver is home to breathtaking mountain vistas, orange sunsets, nine-dollar cups of Coors Light, four major sports teams and one very dubious distinction: an NFL franchise that leads all 31 others in players arrested since the year 2000. Huzzah.

Of those arrests about a dozen have been for DUI and about another dozen have been for good old-fashioned domestic abuse charges. Wife beating. A couple of newer additions to the Broncos’ team, however, have been arrested for rape.  

Now, being arrested and charged with rape does not necessarily mean that you raped somebody. But there’s probably a far better chance that you did than that you didn’t – even if you’re acquitted following a years-long court battle with your accuser. For the Denver Broncos the lack of a conviction for a rape seems to be tantamount to innocence. They’re certainly comfortable getting into bed with the types of guys who gals probably shouldn’t.

Broncos’ defensive end Adam Gotsis was summoned to Atlanta in March to face arrest for rape charges stemming from an accusation by a woman that he “placed his penis in her vagina against her will” back in 2013 when he was still playing football for Georgia Tech. Gotsis was the 50th Denver Bronco to be arrested since Y2K.  

According to NFL.com: “Gotsis’ arrest came after a 30-year-old woman went to Atlanta Police Headquarters on Feb. 1 and spoke with an investigator about the incident. She told police she met Gotsis through a mutual friend and that she attended attended a party with him on March 9, 2013. She alleges Gotsis then took her to his home and raped her.”

Investigators were granted a warrant charging him with rape in early march of this year. He reported and was then released on $50K bond. Neither the Broncos nor the NFL have taken any action nor are they expected to. Gotsis will likely be with the Broncos for the first game of the regular season.

Gotsis and his lawyers claim that he is “fully cooperating” with the investigation and that the allegation is “”shocking”. It is true that his accuser came forward a full five years after the alleged rape took place but there are many reasons that victims are reluctant to come forward. The fact that she decided after that much time had passed to contact police shouldn’t be construed as evidence that her claim is false.

Even if Gotsis were to be convicted, however, it’s hard to say that the Broncos would rid themselves of him. As evidenced by Vance Joseph having been hired (and later retained) by the Broncos despite the sexual assault allegations that were made against him when he was assistant coach in Boulder, the Broncos just don’t seem to think that abusing women is all that big of a deal.

It ain’t no fun if the homies can’t have none. Just ask former Tennessee star linebacker A.J. Johnson. Johnson was completely out of football for over three years after allegedly raping a woman and then inviting is his buddy in to rape her, too.

The Knoxville News Sentinel reported in July that: “The accuser said both men covered her mouth as she said no. She said she did not try to fight them off.” quoted her as saying: “He immediately started having sex with me, like, so fast. I was shocked. He didn’t touch me (beforehand). He didn’t say anything. There were other people in the room.”  

The Tennessee Volunteers suspended Johnson and his teammate Michael Williams after they were accused of rape – kicked them off the team – and the linebacker was forced to wait until this summer when he was “cleared” of charges (found not guilty) to finally enter the NFL as an undrafted free agent.

And which NFL team did Johnson land with? The Denver Broncos, of course, where rape culture means that “no charges” means all’s well that ends well … for men.

A story about the Broncos’ signing of Johnson in the morning’s Washington Post included the following paragraph:

“A.J. hasn’t had the opportunity to play football for the last three years while resolving a serious legal matter,” Broncos General Manager John Elway said in a statement released by the team. “We’ve had several conversations with him since he’s been cleared and have become very familiar with his background and character. Our organization is confident A.J. is ready to move forward and resume his playing career.”

One thing is abundantly clear: The Broncos don’t give a shit about character. If they did Vance Joseph never would have been hired. Sure, they’re not any different than most of the other 31 NFL teams. But shouldn’t they be?

Sadly, the rape culture that surrounds the Denver Broncos reaches to the top. When Vance Joseph was hired PR guru Patrick Smyth told the media: “While we were aware of these accusations, he was not charged with anything from the report filed in 2004.”. And that is their standard: no charges.

In 2002 a woman was awarded a million-dollar settlement when a court found that she had been the victim of two years of abuse at the hands of high level male managers at John Elway Autonation. Part of the settlement was paid so that the names of those managers would not be made public. How likely is it that one of them was this guy?

Written by Colin D.

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