Posted January 17, 2014 by Sydnie Jones in Editorials

BJPenn.com Issues Barely Coherent Rape Culture Apologetics Regarding Team Lloyd Irvin

Inexplicably, BJPenn.com, which has decided that it’s  “…the most reliable destination for all your fighter interviews, fighter blogs and MMA/UFC news stories,” has thrown caution and journalistic standards to the wind. Instead, they opted to publish a hackneyed opinion piece about a civil suit filed against Nicholas Schultz and Matthew Maldonado, the two Team Lloyd Irvin students formerly on trial for the rape of their teammate, masquerading as news. It seems to be a grotesque, misogynistic mangling of this far more even article from Bloody Elbow in an attempt, presumably, to avoid charges of plagiarism.

Despite numerous instances of blatant, apologist, biased speculation by the author, Daneul Summers, and a slew of angry comments, the piece remains up, and demands a deconstruction.

First, let’s start with the title.
“Alleged TLI Rape Survivor Files Civil Suit Against Those Responsible”
Apparently, Summers isn’t even sure what he thinks, because he refers to the woman as an ‘alleged’ rape ‘survivor,’ but she files against those he says are ‘responsible.’ Responsible for what?

The trouble continues in the Team Lloyd Irvin scandal as an alleged survivor in the rape case has surfaced and filed a civil suit on December 30th of 2013 against Nicholas Schultz, Matthew Maldonado, the owners of the parking garage in which the incident was said to have taken place Penn Parking inc. and Michael Romeo Group LLC which is the night club that the the suspects that were in question were partying at before the incident occurred.

Summers’ bias wastes no time, emerging fearlessly in the first sentence. Someone who files a civil suit following a failed case in criminal court about being raped by two people is not making ‘trouble.’  The people who made trouble, in this instance, are the two TLI guys who took a drunk, barely conscious young woman into a parking garage and had sex with her before leaving her on the ground, incapacitated and hurt, in dangerously low temperatures. Not the woman filing against them.

Further, there is no question when or where the “incident” took place, as the footage from the security camera and the testimony of all parties involved will attest. There’s not even a question of whether there was an ‘incident’ – Schultz and Maldonado most certainly had sex with the woman in the parking garage, and said they did. Also, the nightclub wasn’t Michael Romeo Group LLC. That was the owner of the nightclub. 

Maldonado’s charges have all been dropped. However, Schultz still has two misdemeanor sexual abuse charges hanging over his head. Good news is that the charge isn’t severe enough to put him on the sexual offenders registry unless it were in a part of a plea deal to possibly lower his sentence.

This is misleading at best, inaccurate at worst. The charges Summers is referencing are the ones from the criminal case, not the new civil suit. He then proclaims it’s “good news” that the two misdemeanor charges Schultz is facing – in criminal court – mean that he wouldn’t necessarily have to register as a sex offender. The rape culture apologetics are strong in this one, but bear in mind – this is the “most reliable” destination for MMA news, so he’s probably right. Not really. If anything, the reach of BJPenn.com warrants a far more exacting and educated oversight than whatever procedures permitted a piece this unabashedly sexist and misogynistic to see the light of day. That would just be the decent, ethical thing to do, but in the burgeoning world of WMMA, it’s also the smart thing to do.

It’s still strange that this unknown survivor has chosen now to file the claim. The obvious suits against Maldonado and Schutlz aside, it would seem plausible that she is simply trying to put blame where blame is deserved with the others.

It is, in fact, not strange at all that she’s chosen to file a civil suit, given the jury in the criminal case failed so spectacularly despite her testimony and the video. It’s also not strange that she remains unknown – her identity is not what’s up for scrutiny, nor is it relevant to the public, unless you’re into victim blaming. That’s Summers’ BFF bias coming through, followed by wild speculation as unequal in its certainty as the headline. Summers says she’s “trying to put blame where blame is deserved with the others.” Besides that it’s barely understandable, the underlying tenet Summers maintains is that there is blame to be distributed, and there’s a deserving place for it – so which is it? Does he pray for the good fortune of Maldonado and Schultz, or does he think there were actions for which responsibility must be taken and for which those responsible should be penalized?

She most likely has adverse feeling toward a club that allowed her to get into such a situation without proper security (in her eyes) and the parking lot most likely for lack of lighting and security camera’s.

He then goes on to further speculate about her feelings, while admitting she was in “such a situation.” In fact, he says she “…(got) into such a situation.” Incorrect, and victim blaming. People who have been raped don’t get intractably caught in rape spiderwebs and are therefore partially responsible. Rapists are responsible for rape.

Again, here, Summers displays an ignorance of the specifics of this incident bordering on alarming for the most reliable MMA news site on the whole world wide web. Considering the entire “incident” was recorded on the parking lot’s security cameras, it is hard to argue there was a lack of said security cameras. There is also precedence of liability for failure to take security precautions that may apply here – it’s not necessarily just “in her eyes.”

Another reason for the mystery survivors suits is to drag Team Lloyd Irvin through the mud for as long as possible. TLI has been receiving flak left at right from publish relations since the case began. Also, it has brought up a past event dating back to 1989 in which Lloyd Irvin was allegedly at a gang rape, but he was acquitted of all charges stating that he was attempting to engage in a consensual and agreed upon situation but was unable to become erect.

No, Lloyd Irvin was not ‘allegedly’ at a gang rape, he was there, and while he was acquitted of all charges, the other man on trial wasn’t. He admitted to being there, and he admitted to wanting to participate in the gang rape, but thank the good lord above, he says he was unable to because he couldn’t get an erection. So let’s be clear. Lloyd Irvin, by his own admission, sat and watched while a 17 year old girl was most likely held down and forced to perform oral sex on someone (the charge for which Terrence Gatling was found guilty), and tried to have sex with her but couldn’t. That doesn’t even mean his version of events are true – she says Irvin raped her while Gatling forced her to perform oral sex on him, and bruising around her lips and vagina do nothing to dispute her claim.

Also surfacing, allegations that there are over a million dollars in tax liens against Irvin as well as DJ Jackson, who was once an up and comer out of Team Lloyd Irvin, being accused of rape as well, and many more cases of Irvin performing in inappropriate sexual behavior.

Details are scarce, but BJPenn.com will be bringing you up to date information regarding the TLI scandal.

Again, Summers hasn’t bothered to look into any of the details taken from the Bloody Elbow article. There aren’t “allegations” of a tax lien. There’s a tax lien. That’s just lazy. Whether there is any validity to the tax lien, which is probably what he meant, is another story.

But don’t worry, readers; as Summers notes, we can trust BJPenn.com to bring us up-to-date information. It seems safe to expect that in the absence of up-to-date information, they’ll rely instead on lazy, inaccurate reporting riddled with sloppy misinformation to maintain our interest. Maybe they’ll even just make some stuff up to keep things interesting.

That was the article in its entirety; all quotes are from it.

Sydnie Jones