CBS Sports anchor James Brown raised an impassioned and rational voice against domestic violence in sports, especially NFL, during “Thursday Night Football.”
He spoke in a pre-game show specifically covering NFL's Ray Rice scandal.
His speech, a challenge really, came as a surprise as it went against the general attitude the world of sports has on issues such as domestic violence.
Unfortunately, it’s just not the NFL. Sports, even in the 21st century, is considered to be a macho all-male domain, any woman who manages to find her way in the world of sports and games must face severe discrimination. There hardly is any place for women in this field. They play, yes, but they have to fight for their place and right to respect every inch of the way.
This attitude seeps in to personal lives as well. The "strong and macho sportsman" mentality perhaps leaves little room for women in any role other than a meek and submissive one.
Brown apparently also sees that as problem. He said the problem was bigger than football and that the Rice case demands an "ongoing, comprehensive education of men of what healthy, manhood is all about," adding that this begins with how men view women.
"Our language is important," he said. "When a guy says, 'You throw the ball like a girl' or ‘You’re a little sissy,’ … it reflects an attitude that devalues women."
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He also said merely expressing disapproval and outrage over domestic violence is not enough. It would be more productive if “this collective outrage, as my colleagues have said, could be channeled to truly hear and address the long-suffering cries for help by so many women? And as they said, do something about it? Like an on-going education of men about what healthy, respectful manhood is all about.”
“Consider this,” he added. “According to domestic violence experts, more than three women per day lose their lives at the hands of their partners. That means that since the night February 15th in Atlantic City [when the elevator incident occurred] more than 600 women have died.”
“So this is yet another call to men to stand up and take responsibility for their thoughts, their words, their deeds and as Deion [Sanders] says to give help or to get help, because our silence is deafening and deadly.”
There may be nothing new in what he said, but the fact that someone from the world of sports said it makes all the difference.