Five football players at Damascus High School in Maryland are being charged with sexually assaulting members of the junior varsity football team with broomsticks. Four of those accused are being charged as adults, and the fifth is reportedly being charged as a minor.

“Each defendant played a significant role in carrying out their plan to sexually assault the victims in this case,” the state’s attorney Peter Feeney said in court, according to the Washington Post. “Whether it was pushing, punching, stomping, holding down, tackling or wielding the broom. The crimes could only have been committed with the active participation of each defendant.”

He also called the action “astonishingly cruel.”

It is another reminder of the incredible power homophobia has in youth sports, with athletes allegedly using forced sodomy as a way to demean and humiliate younger athletes. All of that allegedly designed to build stronger bonds between the players. Insanity.

As we at Outsports have said for years, there is absolutely no positive outcome from hazing. I wrote about hazing extensively in my book, Fair Play. In the book I make the point that no team has ever won a single game because they hazed their younger players better than their opponents.

Hazing is a canard that must be abolished from American sports. Any coach who allows any form of hazing on a team he coaches should be fired, and any athlete who engages in hazing should be expelled from sports. There is no place for this behavior, often with roots in homophobia, in sports.