Princeton has a long and dark history of discrimination and prejudice. It is a bastion of the white, the male and the wealthy. Throughout the decades, Princeton has worked hard to reverse this lack of diversity, beginning by admitting poorer students, continuing with the acceptance of minorities and breaking through with coeducation.
Despite these laudable milestones, one group in particular remains underrepresented, vilified, demeaned and bullied by the mainstream Princeton establishment: student athletes.
Constituting a mere 20 percent of the undergraduate student body, Princeton student athletes find themselves lost in a sea of desk potatoes. For strange, complicated, socioeconomic issues likely stemming from years of oppression and a history of compulsory physical labor, athletes rarely make it into elite institutions of the likes of Princeton. Any trip to a suburban park on a weekend showcases the droves upon droves of young student athletes — in this case elementary school children, but scholars nonetheless — struggling for survival. Most of these three-and-a-half-foot tall warriors will never make it to Ivy League locker rooms but will slip through the cracks, ending up hustling the streets selling Girl Scout cookies or landing in jail. And by jail, I of course mean SAT prep classes. Truly, society has many seemingly arbitrary laws preventing student athletes from success, like high school transcripts and any semblance of academic standards.
Student athletes aren’t just a minority, however: They are a hated group. Majority Princeton students often demean their intelligence, insinuating that they do not possess the academic ability to merit a Princeton education. Athletes never asked to put their studies on the back burner: It was peer pressure. All of their cool high school friends did sports and exercised. Who were they to be any different? If they had struggled against the grain they could have ended up in jail (read: ACT prep courses) or worse, dead. Brain-dead that is, from too many AP tests. Nonetheless, the Princeton establishment refuses to cut these slackers some slack, berating them for their neglect of their minds for their toned, sculpted, healthy bodies.
All of this negative reinforcement ultimately gets to student athletes, sometimes making them doubt their own aptitude. Even reminding a student that he or she is a student athlete can drop his or her grade by 30-60 percent. (For all the student athletes reading this, sorry, trying to read this, that’s a lot).
Language barriers between athletes and their bookish counterparts exacerbate the problem. Many student athletes grew up in households where English wasn’t the spoken language. Their parents would speak to them in Sports, as would many of their friends. Sometimes, these students would go an entire day talking about “two-point conversions,” “Hail Mary routes,” “double eliminations” and “high torque spoons.” The only spoons most Princeton students know about are for eating cereal. How can we expect our athletes to thrive in a purely English-based educational system when half of them think a basket is a metal hoop with some tattered white netting hanging from it? How is that supposed to hold anything?
Relegated to the fringes of Princeton society by their differentness, many athletes have been forced to commandeer the private eating clubs east of campus, forming a veritable slum along Prospect Avenue. There athletes while away their lonely hours, drinking away their numerous social problems. They want so desperately to be involved in the exclusivity and mystique of the residential colleges but feel too isolated and misunderstood to even try.
Male student athletes face limited romantic prospects as well. They are often forced to exclusively hook up with the shallowest — admittedly, also the hottest — girls on Princeton’s campus. A plain, sensitive, intellectual girl would never dream of hooking up with a varsity athlete. So goes the discrimination.
Female student athletes have it even worse. Due to their constrained schedules and the need to balance competing at the highest level with the demands of a Princeton education, many girl jocks do not have time to look very far for companionship. As a result, they are compelled to settle for what they can find nearby: hockey players, basketball players, lacrosse players and their ilk. Deep down they really do want to date that awkward, bespeckled COS major in lecture, but they simply haven’t the time. And those 6-foot-10-inch basketball players are just so much easier to find. Let’s face it, after spending all day down on the playing field, you’d be pretty lazy too.
So join me, fellow Princeton students, in my condemnation of the Princeton establishment’s overt discrimination against our athletic countrymen! Too long have student athletes been excluded and marginalized by Ivy League institutions. We must follow in the populist footsteps of our state-school brethren and give athletes what they truly deserve: acceptance, equality and, eventually, the vote (athletes don’t really do the USG thing).
This article was heavily edited by non-athletes to make it fit for print. The first draft was written at a second grade level with a complete disregard for English grammer. C’mon West College, we can’t kept letting these people into our school.