kat o’brien: In an explosive emotional article, a former New York sportswriter details how she was raped in a hotel room by a Major League Baseball player 18 years ago.
Kat O’Brien, 22, interviewed the anonymous player for an article about foreign-born baseball players adjusting to American society when he “advanced suddenly to kiss me,” she wrote in a New York Times first-person column on Sunday.
“I shouted no, no, no, I don’t want that, but he forced me over to the bed,” recalled O’Brien, a former Newsday reporter who was at the time working for the Fort Worth Star-Telegram in Texas.
She recalled, “I tried to shove him.” “I kept saying no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no He pushed me even harder, climbing on top of me, ripping my skirt off, and having intercourse with me without my will.
“I remember getting in my car, shaking, and driving home, staring at my blue-and-white Express skirt, thinking, ‘Why did I have to be wearing a skirt?’ Because it was summer in Texas,” O’Brien explained.
Former NY Sportswriter Kat O’Brien MLB player
“I recall drinking a bottle of red wine after I got back to my flat in a desperate attempt to dull my misery and wrath.” Instead, I puked all over the floor.”
“I knew that if I told anyone what occurred, it would damage my career,” the former journalist said she never reported the 2002 attack.
“I was 22 and had no track record, and most people in baseball at the time — nearly two decades ago — would have rallied to support the athlete.” “As a result, I held myself responsible,” she wrote.
“I was perhaps too polite, trusting, friendly, and open. It had to be a misunderstanding, even though I answered no.”
She claims she ran into an All-Star player in the visiting-team clubhouse of the Arlington, Texas, ballpark shortly after she was raped, and he “stared at me, saying my name and the name of his teammate, the man who had raped me.”
“Suddenly I understood [the rapist] must have informed everybody,” O’Brien wrote, “making himself out to be a stud and me some girl who was there to pick up ball guys instead of doing my job.”
As one of the few female sports writers at the time, Kat O’Brien also wrote about other issues she faced
O’Brien claims she never spoke to her assailant after he assaulted her, and she won’t name him now.
“I chose not to name him since doing so would simply expose me to the risk of having dirt thrown on my reputation; even now, in the aftermath of the #MeToo movement, a former professional athlete retains enormous power,” she wrote in the heartbreaking column.
“Rather than seeking improbable justice for a single heinous event, I wish to contribute to structural change.”
After learning in January that New York Mets general manager Jared Porter had been dismissed for sexting a female reporter, she indicated that she was now coming forward.
“I hadn’t worked as a sports reporter in 11 years,” she said, “but as I read reports of other women’s sexual harassment, the full power of my own assault struck me.”
“And with it came the satisfaction that I hadn’t invited it, that I hadn’t done anything wrong, which I had never considered.”
She didn’t seek for jobs in towns where her rapist played after what happened in that hotel room, according to the former reporter. She also avoided high-profile gigs for fear that her personal narrative would be revealed.
O’Brien, a graduate of Notre Dame and the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School of Business, covered the Texas Rangers for the Star-Telegram and subsequently the New York Yankees for Newsday.
She said that, in addition to being raped, she was subjected to “minor everyday attacks” as a female sports reporter, including a “false” rumour that she slept with a team executive to get her position covering the Rangers.
She was even dubbed “Legs” by a coach, and teammates advised she wear thongs or nothing under her pants “since they couldn’t see my panty lines,” she wrote.
According to O’Brien, there was also a team manager — “not with the Rangers or Yankees” — who had a blow-up doll in his office with which players would act out sexually explicit situations.
Then there was the porn on a clubhouse TV and a player who inquired about her preferred sex positions, she alleged.
“I hope that by sharing my experiences, more women will feel empowered to speak up when they see something that isn’t right,” O’Brien wrote.
“My job in sports journalism, which I was afraid of losing earlier, is long gone,” she remarked. “However, I have discovered my voice.”