By MATT EPSTEIN ’19
Two weeks ago, an audio recording of Republican nominee for president, Donald Trump, crudely discussing his exploits with women was released. Trump, unaware that he was being recorded, bragged to talk show host Billy Bush about what can only be defined as sexual assault, saying, “I just start kissing them…I don’t even wait. And when you’re a star, they let you do it. You can do anything. Grab them by the p****.”
In the days following the tape’s release, Trump has since apologized, stating that he “was wrong, and I apologize…that was locker room banter.” Though his apology quickly turned to a reminder of the marital infidelities of Bill Clinton, allegedly many women came forward shortly after to share that they had been assaulted by Trump himself.
During his candidacy, Donald Trump has weathered storms. However, the damage done by the tape was exacerbated by an apology that was not only insincere, but also an insult to the millions of men in our country who know that Donald Trump’s version of a locker room is far from reality.
In the days following Trump’s apology, many professional athletes, those who have spent their lives in locker rooms, have spoken out on what truly constitutes typical locker room conversation. Chris Cloney, a wide receiver for the Kansas City Chiefs, tweeted “Have I been in every locker room? No. But the guys I know and respect don’t talk like that. They talk about girls but not like that. Period. Just for reference, I work in a locker room everyday, that is not locker room talk.”
Many echoed Cloney’s statements, including the Amherst College Men’s Soccer Team, who in a Huffington Post op-ed, stated, “We do not know what locker room Donald Trump uses. It clearly doesn’t represent the one we use every day.”
At Trinity, Trump’s comments have been met with outrage not only from the student body as a whole, but especially from athletes, who feel that Trump’s comments are an indictment on athletes across the country. When asked about their locker room, Will Baker ’20, a center back on the Trinity Men’s Soccer Team said, “We talk about school, crack jokes, complain about tough professors, and yes, talk about women, but respectfully. [Trump’s] locker room is nothing like ours.” Similarly, Madison Baker ’19, captain of Trinity’s ski team said, “Well –– we don’t actually have a locker room, but as a co-ed team, talking like that just isn’t something that would cross our minds. His comments really just make all athletes look bad.”
While athletes both at Trinity and around the sporting world have condemned Trump for writing off his comments as “locker room talk,” it appears as though American voters at large feel the same way. This is reflected in the latest polls. With only two weeks left until Americans cast their votes, CNN’s most recent “Poll of Polls” shows that Hillary Clinton’s lead has grown to eight points, one of her largest at any time during the race. As Donald Trump’s candidacy nears its close, it appears as though America has finally learned who the real Donald Trump is. When people head to the polls, they will be faced with a moral choice just as much as one of policy: are we truly ready to be led by a man whose words (and possibly actions) are this heinous? Only time will tell, but history will not look kindly upon these United States if we make the wrong choice.
By MATT EPSTEIN ’19