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Northwestern Student Athletes Sue over Abusive Hazing Practices

HeadlineJul 26, 2023

Back in the U.S., Northwestern University is in the midst of a growing scandal over abusive hazing practices in its athletic departments. On Monday, a volleyball player sued Northwestern over alleged retaliation after she reported abuse. This follows lawsuits by former Northwestern quarterback Lloyd Yates, who spoke out at a news conference in Chicago last week.

Lloyd Yates: “There was a code of silence that felt insurmountable to break. And speaking up could lead to consequences that affected playing time and can warrant further abuse. Normalizing this culture became a necessity. The abusive hazing was so entrenched in the Northwestern football culture that even some of our coaches took part in it. The graphic, sexually intense behavior was well known throughout the program. We were physically and emotionally beaten down, and some players have contemplated suicide as a result. The abusive culture was especially devastating for many players of color.”

Northwestern’s head football coach, Pat Fitzgerald, has been fired in the wake of the revelations. Attorney Ben Crump says Northwestern’s athletic departments “normalized” a “pattern and practice” of physical and mental abuse, and that some of the students were minors when the abuse took place. We’ll speak to Ben Crump about this, and other stories, later in the broadcast.

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