The two Steubenville high School football players on trial for rape of a 16-year-old girl who was drunk, have been found guilty. Trent Mays and Ma’Lik Richmond have been convicted of attacking the girl after an alcohol-fueled party last August. The victim was not in the courtroom when the verdict was read but the girl’s mother issued a statement. “Human compassion is not taught by a teacher, a coach or a parent. It is a God-given gift instilled in all of us,” the victim’s mother said. “You displayed not only a lack of this compassion, but a lack of any moral code.” Mays was also convicted of disseminating a nude photo of a minor. One only view the attached photo to see how little respect they had for the young girl; carrying her around like an animal. Both Mays and Richmond will now have to register as sex offenders and they have essentially ruined their lives because of their abhorrent behavior. They did it to themselves. The punishment fits the crime. The victim will have to come to terms with what happened and get help in figuring out how to move forward with her young life. This puts to rest a case that divided a football crazed neighborhood and raised many questions about the football mentality in general, one which I detest. Let me go on the record as stating that there is no more ignorant group of students and coaches in general than that of the high school football team. Coaches teach kids that they are at war, doing battle with the other teams. Rather than teaching sportsmanship, teamwork, discipline and good behavior, these kids are taught and nurtured towards violence. Yes, football is a violent game but it’s just a game. Unfortunately, high school football is the center of small town life, a religion actually, throughout the country. There is little else for these kids and families to do, harsh as that seems. They live in towns that I refer to in my travels that one must be born in, to live in. These little boys think they’re tough and above the law because their mommies and daddies, coaches and students tell them how wonderful they are. They wear capital letters on their jackets and that sets them apart from everyone else. And quite frankly, young, inexperienced teenagers let this praise go to their heads. How could they not? But 99% percent of them will not make the NFL and they need to be brought down a notch and have things put in to perspective. Hopefully, this will be a lesson learned across the country, that you can’t just do whatever you want because you put a helmet on your head and run on to the field to adoring fans during homecoming. The football mentality goes against everything that is the martial arts, respect, gentleness, humbleness, truth, bravery and compassion. Perhaps the Code of Bushido should be hanging in the locker room of every high school football team across the country. How impressive would it have been it one young man had the guts, and the moral fortitude to protect that young girl from those predators.