A document published in 2012 revealed the male football team would rate the female football team members on a scale of 10 for their physical attractiveness. The female football players were also assigned sexual positions instead of their field positions in the nine-page document.
The document had shown seniors and juniors alike engage in sexually disparaging remarks and inciting each other to do so.
Drew Faust, president of Harvard University, denounced the behaviour and said: “The decision to cancel a season is serious and consequential, and reflects Harvard’s view that both the team’s behaviour and the failure to be forthcoming when initially questioned are completely unacceptable, have no place at Harvard, and run counter to the mutual respect that is a core value of our community.”
Faust said the investigation has not yet probed beyond the football team but whether the practice is common among other athletic teams in Harvard has been questioned.
Athletics Director Robert L Scalise wrote in an email to the students: “The practice appears to be more widespread across the team and has continued beyond 2012, including in 2016.”
The “scouting report”, as it is called by the male football players, was available for public viewing until The Crimson reported on the issue, revealing the misogyny.
The men’s football team was the number one team in the Ivy League at the time of its suspension. They will have forfeited all their remaining matches this season.
Men's soccer coach Pieter S Lehrer wrote in a statement that the team is "beyond disappointed that our season has ended in this way, but we respect the decision made by our administration.”
The matter might have been less exacerbated in any other year, but Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump’s dismissal of his own sexually disparaging remarks as “locker-room talk” compelled the authorities to be more forthright about this issue.