Only days after Harvard cancelled its men’s soccer season after an investigation found players ranked the women’s team on their looks, the cross country team revealed it had participated in a similar practice, the Harvard Crimson reports.
Each year before a dance with the women’s team, the men’s cross country team created a spreadsheet predicting who the women would invite to the dance and sometimes added remarks about their appearance and “sexually explicit” comments, according to the Crimson. A 2012 spreadsheet apparently contained “specific comments about girls [sic] weight or appearance,” according to a message from former cross country team member’s quoted by the Crimson.
“We have really changed the team culture since then, and now the spreadsheet is clean and we try to refrain from making comments like that,” men’s cross country captain Brandon E. Price, a Harvard senior, told the Crimson. He admitted, however, that “the team was ‘particularly ashamed’ of the 2014 spreadsheet.” Now, he said, “the 2016 spreadsheet does not contain any lewd comments.” Why a spreadsheet still exists wasn’t made clear.
Price said that he reported the spreadsheets to the team’s coach and asked his teammates to “come clean with anything that we have typed down in the past” in order to avoid a similar fate to the men’s soccer team. The dean of Harvard College told the Crimson he was unaware of the cross country’s team spreadsheets, and it’s unclear if the team will face punishment.
The Crimson reported last month that the 2012 men’s soccer team created a “scouting report” of the women’s team that involved ranking the women’s team members based on looks and assigned each of them a hypothetical sexual position. After a university investigation revealed that the practice extended beyond the 2012 team, Harvard announced last Thursday that it was cancelling the remainder of the men’s soccer team’s season. It’s unclear if other teams at the elite school participated in the practice.
The 2012 women’s recruits who were the subjects of the initial scouting report wrote a powerful op-ed last month for the Crimson, calling on their male Harvard classmates to help fight this behavior to create “an environment and a culture that strives to lift up all of its members.”
“Finally, to the men of Harvard Soccer and any future men who may lay claim to our bodies and choose to objectify us as sexual objects,” they wrote, “in the words of one of us, we say together: “I can offer you my forgiveness, which is — and forever will be — the only part of me that you can ever claim as yours.”