A second Harvard men’s athletic team has been rating female athletes’ physical appearances for years, Harvard student paper the Crimson reported Saturday.
Harvard’s male cross country team used spreadsheets to discuss members of the women’s cross country team, sometimes using sexually explicit language, the student newspaper discovered.
Harvard president Drew Faust said university officials are investigating whether there is a more prevalent culture of male athletes sexualizing female athletes across campus. Last month, Harvard cancelled the remainder of its men’s soccer season after the Crimson reported on the team’s lewd “scouting reports” going back to 2012.
“I have asked that it at least be raised as a question: is this wider spread?” Faust told the Crimson.
Crimson obtained messages members of the cross country team sent each other on the app GroupMe. The cross country runners began messaging each other after news about the soccer team broke, expressing concern that their own past behavior would be scrutinized.
Team captain Brandon Price, a senior, told The Harvard Crimson that he is “particularly ashamed” of the 2014 spreadsheet that contained graphic language, but added that more recent spreadsheets do not contain vulgar commentary.
“We have really changed the team culture since then, and now the spreadsheet is clean and we try to refrain from making comments like that,” Price told the Crimson.
Late last month, the six women who made up the freshman soccer recruiting class of 2012 published a response to the men’s soccer team’s “scouting reports,” and commented on the culture they face.
“The sad reality is that we have come to expect this kind of behavior from so many men, that it is so ‘normal’ to us we often decide it is not worth our time or effort to dwell on,” they wrote.
“In all, we do not pity ourselves, nor do we ache most because of the personal nature of this attack. More than anything, we are frustrated that this is a reality that all women have faced in the past and will continue to face throughout their lives.”
President Faust’s office did not immediately return a request for comment.
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