Sirius/XM’s Rachel Baribeau reveals being a sexual assault victim in essay about college football off-field problems

Rachel Baribeau: "I once was a victim of abuse; now I am a victor." CREDIT: Twitter photo

Rachel Baribeau: “I once was a victim of abuse; now I am a victor.” CREDIT: Twitter photo

By RODNEY HO/ rho@ajc.com, originally filed Friday, June 10, 2016

All the depressing news emanating off the field in college football compelled Atlanta-based sports broadcaster Rachel Baribeau to write an essay about how “college football is breaking my heart” and revealing her own story about being sexually assaulted for the first time.

Writing recently in Gridiron Now, she noted how she literally cried during a commercial break n her SirusXM “College Sports Nation” radio show while talking about these issues.

Everywhere I turn, I find news of horrid sexual allegations, rape, blame-shifting, cheating, stolen gun-toting and general lawlessness, by players and coaches. Entitlement and enabling run rampant. Ideas born early in a player’s career are often reinforced by a coach’s “savior complex.”

The mess at Baylor University has been front and center in the headlines lately. She noted that there are similar reports at places such as  Alabama, Ole Miss, Florida State, Tennessee. “Something is badly broken in today’s football culture,” she wrote.

Then she gets into her own story,  which she said she has never even revealed to her family until now.

She was sexually assaulted by someone she knew in a home she was familiar with. She screamed. Nobody came to her aid. In the end, she had carpet burns and chunks of hair pulled out of her skull. She is not just angry toward the person who assaulted her but the people who ignored her cries for help.

That’s why I identify with these victims, those we know about and the great many more we don’t, at campuses across the country. I am one of them. They are me. Hundreds, thousands, tens of thousands of us were ignored in our most vulnerable hour.

Baribeau, who worked for a brief time on 92.9/The Game and also covers college sports for the ACC Network, received some powerful responses on social media:

Obviously, she got some nastygrams, too. But she was ready for that:


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