Change Needed

It’s no secret that last season was an incredibly difficult one for the NFL.  Between Ray Rice, Greg Hardy and Adrian Peterson to name just a few – the NFL stayed in the headlines and not for all the right reasons.

Commissioner Roger Goodell was enemy number one and some fans and women’s groups wanted him to step down.  The issue of domestic violence and the NFL’s stance of not really having a stance was THE topic of conversation all last season and quite frankly still is today.

Recently retired safety Darren Sharper who spent 14 seasons in the NFL pleaded no contest Monday to drugging and raping two women in Los Angeles.  In total four states are involved but as of right now he will serve nine years in federal prison.

All of these men and all of these stories are even bigger than the NFL.  I know people want to talk about the game being “violent” and how that contributes to the violence against women.  Yes that’s one factor – but ultimately it’s the culture for athlete’s period that needs to be changed.

It starts when these young boys are seen are “stars” as little as six or seven years old.  We start brainwashing these kids by telling them over and over again how great they are at the game there playing and planting the seeds of “I can do whatever I want because of my athletic ability.”  Which gives some of these young boys who later become teenage star athletes a false sense of invincibility.

If you attended high school you can remember how the jocks were treated – they were like God’s walking down the halls.  This attitude gets passed on to college and then onto those who make the pros.  This is not a football issue – it’s a societal issue of how we put athletes on a pedestal that at times is not realistic.

I get it we all love bigger, faster and stronger.  We all admire those athletes who can do things we only dream of doing.  The money, the lifestyle – we all are guilty of watching and idolizing these athletes.

Now let me make myself clear – not all young boys who are great at sports grow up to be loose cannons that spiral out of control.  No, not all, but a large number to where everyone has to be a part of changing this culture.

Like the PSA’s that we see from the NCAA, NBA and NFL everyone needs to take responsibility and help change this culture once and for all.  We can no longer use the violent game of football as a scape goat.  ALL sports have issues with violence against women; and all sports need to take a serious look at what they are and are not doing to stop this.

This epidemic can no longer be ignored because you love the sport or your team is winning because “that” guy is such a great athlete.

Let’s stop the excuses and make a change that benefits everyone.