Everyone it seems has put in their two cents about the three Lloyd Irvin teammates and what happened on New Year’s Eve. I don’t feel I have much to add to the conversation, but I will say one thing.
I may not know everything about my teammates, but above everything else I see them as friends, comrades, and some as an extended part of my family. I root for them, I honestly care when they are physically or emotionally hurt, I cheer their successes and offer a shoulder to lean on when times are hard. And I know they feel the same way about me- it’s a culture and support system we have developed in our academy, as a part of our Association, and its a level of care and respect I would hope all academies and larger groups and associations encourage. The acts by these two individuals to me prove that is not always the case.
And maybe I’m trying to put on a pair of ill fitting rose colored glasses, but I sincerely hope these two individuals are one of those few exceptions to the rule, and so far the odds are looking pretty favorable: it seems most of the jiu jitsu community has responded in a thoughtful, passionate manner against what happened, and that gives me some hope. Do I think this is the first time a woman has been raped by a teammate? Sadly, tragically, no. And Georgette has the story to prove it on her blog. Do I sincerely hope this will lessen these occurrences? I pray by all the Powers That Be- the old gods and the new (bonus point if you get the reference) until this sort of thing is pretty much unheard of.
Jiu jitsu is currently a predominately male sport, but it is also young, and has the ability to change. It’s a sport that is known for evolving and adapting, and while of course I want to do everything in my power to make it so, I can only hope that this is one of those situations that will lend itself to evolution.
There are a number of articles on the subject, so I’m just going to post them below and then leave the subject alone. Again, not because rape shouldn’t be discussed, but I feel at this point I would do nothing but echo sentiments of others in the BJJ community.
Yael encouraged a call to action on her blog
Georgette has a couple of posts on the subject, but this one I feel pretty much sums up the most of what she was talking about
Ryan Hall wrote a piece, posted it on Facebook that was then featured on a number of sites, including Bloody Elbow
There are several others I’m sure, but to be perfectly honest it’s late, I’m exhausted, and I feel those three have summed up the general sentiment of the majority of the jiu jitsu community on the subject. Although I will give an honorable mention to the Gracie Breakdown and their encouragement to keep a positive and respectful atmosphere in the academy.
**UPDATE: Lloyd Irvin has posted his response to recent events. Check it out.