But here's the thing. What happened to those boys is indeed a tragedy. And oddly enough their tragedy precedes and is even directly responsible for the tragedy inflicted upon the victim of their actions. It is a tragedy that if we do not recognize and accept the fact of it will likely be repeated again in another small town just like Steubenville.
I don't know when the tragedy occured. Quite likely it was not one grand tragedy but rather several small ones over the course of several years. Those boys were given messages, from society, from the adults they interacted with, and from their peers that led them to a wrong conclusion. The messages roughly were A: Being male and playing football gives you license to do whatever you want. B: If you are male and play football adults will cover for you no matter what you do. And, C: Females are worthy of less consideration than males, especially male football players.
Who knows how many times and in how many ways these boys were given those messages. It was probably often in small ways. Grades given out that they had not earned. Inappropriate behavior towards female classmates ignored or excused. There are myriad moments in which the fundamental messages mentioned above could have been and probably were communicated. Over time it led the boys to a fateful moment in which they acted upon those messages and made wrong and horrifying choices.
That's the tragedy. Not that they have been convicted of the crime which they committed but rather that they were put on that path by people who truly did not have their best interests at heart. People who for whatever reason found it easier to ignore the boys actions rather than address them. People who cared more about a game, a fucking GAME, than they cared about making certain that these boys grew into decent and honorable young men.
From that tragedy came the tragedy that was forced upon the young lady they victimized. Sadly I fear there are still more tragedies to come. Because in the course of bringing the full truth to light, a school will be damaged, a town, families. So much damage done just because some people found it easier, thought it better to be enablers rather than the adults they were supposed to be. Lives destroyed, who knows right now how many, but at least three so far. Lives destroyed because of laziness, and moral cowardice.
If that's not a tragedy I don't know what is.
Keep The Faith My Brothers And Sisters!