Why I will not cheer for Scott Kuggeleijn!

Scott Kuggeleijn. The name sound familiar, right?

He was one of the men who helped Chennai Super Kings to get a win over Kings XI Punjab the other night at the Chepauk Stadium.

He recently played the second T20I representing New Zealand against India where the crowd protested holding a banner saying “No means no”, “Wake up, NZ Cricket, #MeToo”.

However, it was controversially taken down by stadium officials, which invited a lot of criticism for New Zealand Cricket (NZC) in the aftermath, with the board even agreeing later that the move was unnecessary.

Now, this happened in a move to protest against the cricketer who was accused of rape in 2015 later had two hearings one in 2016 and 2017. At first, the case was left undecided. Later, the cricketer “won” the case and was announced, “not guilty”.

Of course, he “legally” won the battle, but hey, remember the social media outburst regarding the “sexist” comments of Hardik Pandya and KL Rahul who then was suspended by the Board.

If that was “sexist”, then what do you call someone who, on the court, said that the woman was “provocatively dressed and looking for male attention”?
So, the outfit is the main reason for rape?

Remember how Harbhajan Singh reacted to the entire KL Rahul and Hardik Pandya issue?

Now, he is playing with someone who literally told that he “had sex with a woman because she was provocatively dressed”.

Sharing the gist from the news that appeared on Stuff.co.nz in 2017 article.

“When you used the word provocative, what did you mean?” Crown prosecutor Jacinda Foster asked.

“She was just quite revealing, you know,” he replied.

When asked why he thought she was looking for “male attention”, he replied “she was just, yeah, very close to you when she talked, and talked about a lot of things that a lot of others wouldn’t”.

Foster also quizzed him about his comment that “she loved penis”.

“She looked like she liked a lot of male attention and liked males,” he replied.

Foster responded that the suggestion she “loved penis” was not just referring to a love of men, rather to loving sex.

When pressed, Kuggeleijn said: “It’s not necessarily just sex but I guess that comes into it, I suppose.”

The panel consisted of six men and six women and the cricketer presented his evidence saying:

“Thought [the complainant] was enjoying it because she was breathing heavily and just acting the same as I was when I was touching her”.

However, “pretty quickly” after the sex finished, she got out of bed and went to get a glass of water, before returning without saying anything.

Kuggeleijn denied the complainant’s testimony that he pinned her arms down, that she tried to wriggle away and that she tried to push him off her

“That’s not true,” he said to each accusation.

After the alleged rape, Kuggeleijn said he ran to his cousin’s house where the party was held the night before.

He told his cousin and the complainant’s flatmate that she “was keen” for sex that morning.

“She was enjoying it, yeah.”

He said he went to the flat because he found it “weird” that the complainant was upset and being asked to leave after the sex had occurred.

He was told later that afternoon the complainant felt that she couldn’t say no, that he had been persistent and was quite forceful.

He said he texted the victim, via his cousin, to apologise.

“I thought I should let her know that I was sorry … because it was a pretty big shock to me and not very pleasant.

According to her flatmate who saw both of them kissing at the night told the court that the woman came running to her asking what should she do because Scott had raped her.

She added that the complainant told her “that she didn’t want to but he kept trying”.

The flatmate added: She then struggled to understand what she was saying so suggested she get in the shower and calm down, before going downstairs and asking Kuggeleijn to leave.

“He said ‘yeah, what’s wrong, what did I do?’ and I said ‘I’m not sure she’s just upset’.”

Once she’d calmed down a bit, the woman said, the complainant told her “I didn’t want to but I couldn’t push him off” or “something like that”.

In a conversation with a group of friends, she said the complainant told them that “[Scott] had been trying all night and that in the morning she gave up.

Talking about Scott, she said that Scott told his cousins that, “everything was okay and then she began crying, also that he had been trying for a while and that he had finally cracked it.”

For which Morgan, Scott Lawyer corrected: He didn’t use the word “cracked it”, rather he said “had been trying for a while and she said no but in the morning it was all good”.

The Complainant told that she said ‘no’ a number times for which both Scott and Morgan agreed and corrected that she said ‘no’ twice but it was like she didn’t say it for like real. Kuggeleijn said since she wasn’t “stopping” him, he thought she also “wanted it”.

After hearing it all, A jury decided there was reasonable doubt Kuggeleijn knew she wasn’t consenting, and he was found not guilty of rape.

Regardless of the verdict, the questions and the assumptions made by Kuggeleijn’s lawyer Philip Morgan over the course of two trials were extremely troubling. Of course, I wasn’t present at the court but all I can do is read and write about it.

So, let me get into the questions.

Q: Did you mean ‘No, not now’, as if you did not mean it?”

This was asked of the complainant in regard to her use of the word “no”.

Q: “Were you saying ‘no’ but not meaning ‘no’?”

Morgan kept asking the same question to which the lady responded negatively.

Q: “Did you not recognise that telling him you were on the pill in those circumstances were you telling him you wanted to have sex with him?”

I wear a helmet while driving. Is that actually mean I want to meet with an accident every day?
There is certainly a huge gap between the two.

Q: “I suggest if I said to you that 100 men who have been in that situation and tried again you would have a forest of hands. There’s nothing horrible about that, it’s just a reflection of life and really what was Scott Kuggeleijn other than one of these men.”

The expected “Men will be Men” question. How bad and awfully wrong it is?

Q: “She couldn’t turn this man down yet again because she would then be thought of as a bitch or a tease.”

So, he says she wanted to turn him down but she couldn’t. Let me just repeat that!

“You couldn’t turn this man down yet again because you would then be thought of as a bitch or a tease.”

My client (Scott) respected the complainant’s wishes at night when he could’ve had her so easily when she was drunk.”

Okay, so a man can easily “rape” a woman just because she was drunk.

“That’s not the behaviour of a rapist, is it?”

It is just similar to something, I belong to so and so caste but I’m not a casteist. I have a friend who is “black”, this shows I’m not a racist.

These were the few questions asked by his lawyer. Let me make this clear- I don’t have any problem with the jury or with the lawyer in person but with the way, Scott’s lawyer framed the questions is troubling me which rightly should.

Just like how New Zealand cricket stayed calm about this, the BCCI board, especially, Diana Edulji who spoke about the rights of women and so on against Hardik Pandya and KL Rahul, it is disheartening to see people keep numb and cheering him like a happy seal. Now, every time I see him, I will be watching out for the players who celebrate with him. I cannot stop but judging them as well.

It’s hard to see how people are pretending that it never happened. Oh yes, sexual violence is completely acceptable – just as long as you’re not convicted. That’s how it works, right?

Now that he is already in the team and is playing, all I can hope for is that he gets dropped because the batsmen take him for a lot of runs.