The author will examine a public accusation of misconduct against the Duke Lacrosse team and their actions pertaining to a party they hosted at a residence in Durham, NC. After the party, there was an accusation of sexual abuse and rape against some of the players on the team made by one of the females who were paid for entertainment. The author will examine the accusations made against the players along with the actions of the District Attorney (DA), Michael Nifong that ultimately got him disbarred. The author will examine DA Nifong’s ethical decisions as they pertain to his job and the influence he had on the public along with the ethics of the involved individuals in the case.
The problem to be investigated is the Duke Lacrosse scandal, which decimated a top collegiate athletic program and cast a negative shadow over one of the top academic universities. Duke University had one of the top men’s lacrosse programs in the county, which had won numerous national championships. Unfortunately, the decisions and actions of some of the team members threatened to destroy the reputation of the lacrosse program and the entire university. The media and society have developed a large appetite for scandal that is still evident today, whether it is due to sex, drugs, cheating or spying (Mazanov & Connor, 2010). The real life drama of the Duke lacrosse team was spread out over several months and included the lacrosse season being cancelled, three players indicted on rape charges, a crooked prosecutor, turncoat faculty members and administrators, irate neighbors and even dirty cops, all of whom had their own personal agendas (Jennings, 2009). The story was also fueled with the racist overtones, which alluded to the rich white athletes who sexually abused the poor inner-city black female stripper. This case is a reminder of the destructive power of racism fueled by political correctness and a desire to gain political influence by any means. These stereotypes may make for an interesting storyline and television, but should not have been the basis for a criminal prosecution. Discussion
The following is a brief summary of the Duke University Men’s Lacrosse Team scandal according to Taylor and Johnson (as cited in Krauss, 2007). During the evening of March 13, 2006, the Duke Lacrosse team hosted a house party at a local Durham residence where some of the players lived during the school year. The party started just like every other normal college party with music and alcohol. The players decided to hire two female strippers for the evening’s entertainment for $800 apiece. The players specifically requested two Caucasian dancers, which the agency agreed to provide, but sent two African-American females to the location. The Duke Lacrosse team consisted of predominately white players, except for one of the athletes still decided to pay the exotic dancers. Once the two dancers were paid and started to perform one of the entertainers, Crystal Mangum, collapsed on the stage. After Ms. Mangum gathered herself and performed a crude lesbian sex act with the other dancer, the players were disgusted and felt they had been deceived by the company who sent the dancers. The team asked the two females to leave the residence. Ms. Mangum was upset and informed her colleague she was going to get as much money from the players as she could and collapsed on the floor once again. Ms. Mangum’s dancing partner left the house and yelled a racial slur at a player who ill-advisedly responded with a racial slur back in her direction. Ms. Mangum appeared to be unconscious and the players called 911 and she was taken to a local hospital.
While at the hospital, Ms. Mangum informed one of the nurses that she was gang raped by three white Duke boys. The police were contacted and responded to the hospital, but did not find any validity in Ms. Mangum’s story. Ms. Mangum agreed to submit to a rape examination at the...