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Journalist Breaks Silence About Player Who Raped Her

Kat O'Brien is speaking out after '18 years of shame and self-blame'
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 21, 2021 3:31 PM CDT

(Newser) – Former baseball journalist Kat O'Brien says she has decided to break her silence about an assault that has cast a shadow over her life for 18 years. O'Brien says she was 22 years old when she was raped by a Major League Baseball player she had been interviewing. She says after the man forced himself on her in a hotel room, she went home, drank a bottle of red wine to try to numb her "sadness and rage," threw up—and never told anybody. "I didn’t tell my best friend, my sister, my mother or my sports editor, who was a woman," she writes at the New York Times. "For 18 years, I didn’t tell anyone." She says she tried to avoid thinking about the assault—except to wish it had never happened. O'Brien says she is choosing not to name the rapist because she doesn't want to have dirt thrown on her reputation. Even in the wake of the #MeToo movement, "a former professional athlete wields considerable power," she writes.

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O'Brien, a former baseball writer for the Fort Worth Star-Telegram and Newsday, says she felt humiliated after the attack when leers and remarks from another player made her realize the rapist had boasted about having sex with her. She says that in the years after the attack, she refused to take jobs in the cities where the rapist and his teammate were based. O'Brien, who stopped being a sports reporter 11 years ago, says she decided to break her silence after 18 years "of shame and self-blame" after hearing earlier this year that Mets GM Jared Porter was fired for sending explicit images to a female sports reporter. She says she started having nightmares and flashbacks, and decided to speak out against the harassment and mistreatment female sports journalists still suffer. "I love sports, I was good at my job. And the sports industry loses out when talented women question whether it’s worth it to work in an industry that brings with it so much harassment," she writes. Click for the full piece.

(Read more Major League Baseball stories.)

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