Sexual assault is a major issue on America's campuses. The Ray Rice incident offers an opportunity for educators to express our concerns about on the assaults occurring on campuses, the questionable use of the athletic department to investigate these issues, and the need for punishment that fits the crime.
Some people are asking, "What kind of message is the NFL sending to women and girls about how they are valued in society?" We have another question: What kinds of messages are young boys receiving from the Ray Rice incident?
So how can faith communities help trauma victims on their journey to a state of healing that may one day enable them to reap the benefits of true forgiveness? Here are three ways suggested by research and those with experience in working with survivors.
I have been out of the country for less than three weeks and it is mid-summer when not much happens of note. The first thing I confronted on returning was a total reorganization of the local supermarket. Under the influence of jet lag I found this quite disorienting. As it turned out, this was only one of many changes that faced me.
The leniency of the Ray Rice suspension comes at a time when stronger, rather than lesser penalties, need to be instituted in order to make greater inroads into the psyche of the athlete to be mindful that violence toward women is unacceptable.
The punishment should not simply fit the crime. It should be instrumental in avoiding its repetition anywhere, anytime, by anyone. Rice and the NFL can be instrumental in making that happen.
Like Lebron James, the NBA appears dedicated to setting a proper example. Like Johnny Football, the NFL has continually skirted responsibility for its actions and realities.
It is a sports culture built around masculinity that has run amok, so out of control that allows for and defends Ray Rice's assaults, Stephen A. Smith's blame of women, and NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell's two-game punishment.
In one of Roger Goodell's most important decisions as NFL commissioner, he abdicated his responsibility to society and to women in favor of a policy of ignorance. After Ray Rice allegedly knocked out his then-fiancee in an Atlantic City casino and dragged her out of an elevator, Goodell suspended the Baltimore Ravens running back for a meager two games. Goodell, faced with disciplining a player over one of the most inexcusable acts a man can commit, just didn't act strongly enough as a leader.
Professional sports commissioners and team owners should follow President Obama's lead and ban LGBT discrimination on the field and in the locker room, in boardrooms and contracting, among fans and employees -- and they should do it now, in this national month of Gay Pride.
With Sterling heading out and Sam heading in, the way we think about leaders and participants in sports is changing. There will be bumps along the way but economics, changing demographics and social change will triumph over outmoded ways of thinking about the games we love.
Sometimes you have to listen for the silences to understand what is actually being said. The NFL is considering penalties against players if they utter one of the most despicable racial slurs against African Americans.
If the NFL were to institute a rule that outlaws usage of the N-word or any racial slur on the football field, at the very least the league would be guilty of two things: (1) Instituting a rule designed to protect white privilege and (2) Being self-righteously hypocritical.
"We didn't change anything. We play our own style of football. And we put our guys in situations they are comfortable with." -- Pete Carroll, Coach of...
Why was NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell recently talking about the possibility of letting players use cannabis?
Goddell's disingenuous portrayal of the league's concern about the health and safety of the players is incredible at best. His assertion that the league has been forthcoming with medical information as it has become available, defies credulity.