Missouri came to Tuscaloosa for a basketball game on Wednesday evening and, thankfully, Terrence Phillips was not with it.
Phillips is suspended amid a Title IX investigation. According to reporting by The Kansas City Star, the Tigers’ backup point guard stands accused by four different female Missouri students of, among other things, harassment, physical abuse and filming a sexual encounter.
“There are two sides to every story,” Phillips told the newspaper in his first public comments since his suspension was levied last week. “Some people really want to say ‘Me too’ because apparently it’s the cool thing to do.”
“Me Too” is the viral social media campaign (hashtag) that’s prompted innumerable survivors of sexual assault to share their stories.
There is nothing “cool” about accusations, the distant thought of or anything that slightly resembles sexual violence, assault or abuse. Phillips is entitled to due process, as are the others across the country who’ve been implicated in other accusations, and should not be viewed as guilty before it is carried out.
But this man’s comments are incredibly tone deaf and display the apparent regard with which he holds women, completely unbecoming of the position he held on the Southeastern Conference’s Men’s Basketball Leadership Council last year.
“I have a side,” Phillips said. “I am cooperating with Mizzou like I was instructed. Unfortunately I can’t say a lot, but at the end of the investigation, I intend to be cleared from the accusations. People who know me know this isn’t me.”
No, but those comments give a much clearer description.