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'You're talking about abuse. It's not cool' - US athletes line up against Trump's 'locker room' defence

Athletes are saying that his words would not be permitted.

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US PRO ATHLETES are coming out strongly to reject Donald Trump’s claim that his boasts about sexual assault are “locker room talk”.

Trump used the defence more than once, including on Sunday’s debate, against his actions in the leaked Access Hollywood video.

But US athletes are being vocal in their condemnation of Trump’s words and are saying that such comments would not be tolerated in the world of professional sports.

In an open letter to Trump published on Vox.com, NFL player Chris Klune wrote:

I was in an NFL locker room for eight years, the very definition of the macho, alpha male environment you’re so feebly trying to evoke to protect yourself, and not once did anyone approach your breathtaking depths of arrogant imbecility.Oh, sure, we had some dumb guys, and some guys I wouldn’t want to hang out with on any sort of regular basis, but we never had anyone say anything as foul and demeaning as you did on that tape, and, hell, I played a couple years with a guy who later turned out to be a serial rapist. Even he never talked like that.

Klune was referring to former NFL player Darren Sharper who was convicted numerous times for rape and sexual assault.

NBA player with the Portland Trail Blazers CJ McCollum: 

LA Galaxy soccer player Robbie Rogers:

Former NBA player John Amaechi was particularly critical of Trump’s words, going so far as to reveal what exactly would happen within a locker room if someone spoke so candidly about sexual violence.

Amaechi, who played in the NBA from 1995 to 2003 appeared on NPR radio and first explained what he and his teammates talked about:

We had conversations that were about politics, that were about the systemic racism, were about the tax advantages of living in Florida as an athlete. These things came first. These were the things that we talked about. Whether in our locker room or in our planes flying across the country, never once did I hear an athlete talk about how they had abused somebody and certainly not with the kind of gleeful pride we heard from Trump.

Baseball pitcher with the Oakland A’s Sean Doolittle:

Point guard with NBA’s Philadelphia 76ers Kendall Marshall:

Later, Amaechi went further, adding that anyone who did speak in a similar manner as Trump would have immediately been reprimanded:

There would be absolute silence. And then any leader in the room – unless this was a locker room devoid of leadership, somebody would step up and say, by the way, what you’re talking about is abuse. It is not cool.You can talk about the fact that you sleep with lots of people, whether they be men or women frankly. You can have that conversation because when there is consent in this environment, people can understand that. And then you can, if you want to, have a degree of levity about it.

But what people seem to forget is that what we’re talking about here is not consensual. And I just don’t know any of the people that I’ve played with who would look at that in any other way than with utter contempt.

- With reporting from Business Insider

Read: McCain, Rice and Schwarzenegger add their names to list of senior Republicans abandoning Trump >

Read: “Grab them by the p****. You can do anything”: Trump forced into apology over comments about groping women >

About the author:

Rónán Duffy

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