As the University of Michigan hosts Michigan State University for their annual college football rivalry game, two Michigan women plan to have a little competition of their own.
ESPN commentator Jemele Hill and Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy are squaring off in a competition of U-M and MSU alumni to raise money to clear the remaining backlog of untested rape kits found in a Detroit police storage locker. According to Patch.com, 11,341 forgotten rape kits were found in a police storage unit in 2009. The ones that were finally tested led to Detroit police to identify approximately 100 serial rapists.
According to the Detroit News, around 1,341 kits remain untested.
DANA POINT, CA - OCTOBER 15: ESPN Sportscaster Jemele Hill speaks to the audience during the espnW Summit 2015 at St. Regis Monarch Resort on October 15, 2015 in Dana Point, California. (Photo by Mpu Dinani/Getty Images)
So Hill and Worthy have teamed up to see which team can raise the most money to help with their cause. Hill's team is made up of Spartans, and Worthy's team is full of former Wolverines.
"For far too long, sexual assault victims have been vilified, marginalized, and ignored on college campuses," Worthy told the Detroit News. "We are turning this on its head. Two rival universities are uniting behind sexual assault victims (and) raising money to bring justice to them. There are no losers here. But there will be a loser at the end of the game in the Big House. Hail to the Victors! Go Blue!"
Hill, who cohosts ESPN's "His and Hers" show, told the Detroit News that a close relative of hers had been raped, and this competition gives her the opportunity to wrap the things she cares about — such as MSU and the city of Detroit — "all into one bundle."
"For me, it’s a personal issue on a lot of levels," Hill said. "As a native Detroiter, I still care about very much about Detroit and the issue (of rape). I was attacked as a pre-teen. I was able to escape from my attacker. I was one of the lucky ones because I escaped."
Worthy also helped kick off the African American 490 Challenge of Enough SAID, a coalition of local organizations that represent black women with a goal to raise $657,090 in the next 18 months to fund the testing of the remaining rape kits. Worthy founded Enough SAID — or, Enough Sexual Assault in Detroit — with the Michigan Women's Foundation.
According to Patch.com, it costs approximately $490 to test each kit. Around $14.5 million has been raised thus far through various fundraising efforts, but another $14 million is needed.
No. 12 Michigan hosts No. 7 Michigan State Saturday afternoon in Ann Arbor.