It’s been 13 months since Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice was arrested and charged with assaulting his then-fiancee in an Atlantic City casino, and six months since video of the attack went viral. The incident — and the NFL’s mishandling of it — dominated sports headlines for weeks. But while the Rice case brought new attention to domestic violence and sexual assault involving athletes, those problems didn’t begin with Rice, and they haven’t ended there. A database maintained by USA Today lists at least 94 incidents in which NFL players have been arrested for domestic violence or sexual assault. That list doesn’t include former Florida State University quarterback Jameis Winston, who is widely expected to be selected first in the NFL draft later this spring, despite accusations that he raped a fellow student. (Winston was never charged with a crime; a New York Times story last year found evidence that the investigation was “flawed.”) And the problem goes far beyond professional football: Athletes at all levels in virtually every sport have faced similar accusations.On Friday, SXsports — the sports-focused offshoot of the long-running South By Southwest festival in Austin, Texas — hosted an hourlong discussion on sexual assault and domestic violence in sports. The panel, which I moderated and helped to organize, featured three people with different perspectives on the issue:Katie Hnida, a former placekicker for the University of New Mexico, in 2003 became the first woman to score in a Division I-A men’s college football game. She later went public with her story of being harassed and raped by teammates at the University of Colorado, where she first played.Jane Randel is the co-founder of No More, a coalition aiming to raise awareness and engage bystanders in ending domestic violence and sexual assault. No More has partnered with the NFL, and Randel is currently serving as a consultant to the league in its anti-violence efforts.Don McPherson was an all-American quarterback at the University of Syracuse, where he led the Orange to an undefeated record in 1987. He later played in the NFL and the Canadian Football League. Since retiring from football, he has dedicated his life to social justice causes, particularly ending violence against women.At the start of our discussion, I noted that the cases involving Rice, Winston and others are only anecdotes. Even the USA Today database only gives raw numbers of incidents involving NFL players — it doesn’t tell us anything about whether violence against women is a bigger problem in the league or in sports than it is in society at large. (My colleague Benjamin Morris tried to fill that void back in July when he found that NFL players are arrested on domestic violence charges at a far higher rate than would be expected based on their age and income.)Numerous studies have tried to perform a more rigorous analysis, and many have found evidence of a link between athletics and violence. But it’s hard to find definitive proof: Domestic and sexual violence are notoriously underreported, and data on perpetrators is even more sparse than information on victims. That forces most researchers to conduct research using surveys, often with sample sizes too small to allow them to draw strong conclusions about the causes of violence.In the absence of better data, I asked McPherson whether he thought there was a connection between sports culture and violence against women. He said yes — but that sports also has an opportunity to help reduce violence by confronting narrow definitions of masculinity.Hnida said locker rooms don’t have to be hostile environments for women. At the University of New Mexico, she said, there was a culture of respect that started at the top. At the University of Colorado, by contrast, she said she “felt like I was more of an object, that I was not actually a person.”The title of our panel was “Can Sports Help End a Culture of Violence?” I asked Randel what she thought the answer was — could sports not just address its own problems but also help have an impact in society at large? She said yes, explaining that sports offers an enormous platform from which to reach men and boys.But McPherson said we won’t make much progress fighting violence against women — either in sports or beyond it — until we start talking honestly about who the perpetrators are: men. The numbers back that up. According to the National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey, 99 percent of rapes and nearly 95 percent of sexual assaults against women are committed by men. Men also commit the vast majority of stalking offenses against women.After the Ray Rice incident, the NFL partnered with No More, which produced a much-discussed PSA that ran during the Super Bowl. The success of that ad — it’s been viewed more than 7 million times on YouTube — shows the reach of the NFL and other sports leagues. But I asked Randel how she could be sure No More was making a difference and not just providing public relations cover for the NFL.Hnida closed the panel with a message to the leagues, the media and sports fans: “Keep talking.”
Close IBTimes VideoRelated VideosMore videos Play VideoPauseMute0:01/0:47Loaded: 0%0:02Progress: 0%Stream TypeLIVE-0:46?Playback Rate1xChaptersChaptersDescriptionsdescriptions off, selectedSubtitlessubtitles settings, opens subtitles settings dialogsubtitles off, selectedAudio Trackdefault, selectedFullscreenThis is a modal window.Beginning of dialog window. Escape will cancel and close the window.TextColorWhiteBlackRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentBackgroundColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentTransparentWindowColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyTransparentSemi-TransparentOpaqueFont Size50%75%100%125%150%175%200%300%400%Text Edge StyleNoneRaisedDepressedUniformDropshadowFont FamilyProportional Sans-SerifMonospace Sans-SerifProportional SerifMonospace SerifCasualScriptSmall CapsReset restore all settings to the default valuesDoneClose Modal DialogEnd of dialog window. COPY LINKAD Loading … India’s ‘Nirbhay’ missile successfully test fired from Odisha In a major boost to the country’s defence sector, India successfully test fired ‘Nirbhay’ – the 1,000 km strike range sub-sonic cruise missile – off the coast of Odisha on Monday, April 15.The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) continued with its successful run of missions this year. Nirbhay cruise missile, developed by Bengaluru-based Aeronautical Development Establishment (ADE), a lab under Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) conducted the successful launch of the all-weather missile.According to ADE, the Nirbhay cruise missile is India’s first indigenously designed and developed long-range cruise missile which is designed to carry conventional and nuclear warheads.This is a developing story. More details awaited.
Bangabandhu‘s 7 March speechThe Japanese version of the historic 7 March speech delivered by the father of the nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman at the then Race-Course Ground in 1971 has been published by the embassy of Bangladesh, Tokyo, reports UNB.The speech was translated into Japanese as the first foreign language after English.Prime minister Sheikh Hasina, while visiting Japan on 29 May, launched and unwrapped the booklet of Japanese edition of 7th March speech.The booklet will be distributed to the educational institutions and other important institutions in Japan, said the Bangladesh embassy in Tokyo on Monday.Bangabandhu’s ‘Unfinished Memoir’ and a graphic novel ‘Mujib’ were also translated into Japanese as the first foreign language after English.In November 2018, graphic novel ‘Mujib’ was launched in Tokyo by the younger daughter of Bangabandhu Sheikh Rehana and Akie Abe, the First Lady of Japan.
By J. K. Schmid, Special to the AFRO“Last set, best set,” Mark Harding says, his legs taped together.He’s doing resistance training at MedStar Good Samaritan’s gymnasium.Each step up, each step out, stretching against the tape, is as smooth and even as when he started. Things are going so well Harding will be able to complete a full circuit of the gymnasium track unassisted. He came in on this day with a walker.Anthony Watters takes Mark Harding through a series of exercises to improve his strength and coordination.Harding is recovering from a traumatic brain injury (TBI) after a long period of hypoxia. The loss of oxygen to his brain had taken away a lot of his coordination.At his side through the whole process in Anthony Watters, a certified strength and conditioning specialist (CSCS).“We want to make him (as) functional as possible, it’s hard to gauge how much he can progress because we haven’t been doing this in the clinical setting long enough,” Watters told the AFRO. “My goal is to have him interact and be a part of the greater community again and not be confined to his home or a hospital space. And I think we’re making tremendous strides toward that.”Before the one-on-one with Harding, Watters had been leading a Rock Steady Boxing class, an innovative program that research indicates is helpful for treating other neurodegenerative symptoms that come with disorders like Parkinson’s disease.Anthony Watters takes Mark Harding through a series of exercises to improve his strength and coordination.The pace is slowed down, but Watters is taking his students with Parkinson’s through the complicated footwork of jump rope ladders and the advance across the classroom ends with each student putting a solid and satisfying knee into a heavy bag.“Movement is medicine,” is the mantra. And Watters wants to take his experience and practices to the larger community of Baltimore.He’s created the brand Drink More Watters as a start.“It’s a lifestyle brand that uses exercise, water, lifestyle and culture to create healthier communities,” Watters said.Watters’ particular approach has caught the eye and the funding of Baltimore Corps, a fellowship with the mission to “enlist talent to accelerate social innovation in Baltimore and advance a citywide agenda for equity and racial justice.”Watters is one of Baltimore Corps’s 15 Elevation Awardees. He now has a $10,000 grant to get his business and brand started.“Along with the money though, more importantly in my opinion, is the workshopping, engagement, assistance, everything that they do to help you be successful,” Watters said.He’s already publishing through DrinkMoreWatters.com, most recently about navigating Baltimore’s overlapping food deserts.But, in addition to hydration and nutrition, Watters hopes to save lives with exercise. Watters explained. He said that while lives lost to violence in Baltimore are high, deaths from heart disease and stroke, and the complications that come with a sedentary lifestyle, eclipse those figures.Watters hopes to take his message and practice of diet and exercise into his community, looking to expand on the results that the Affordable Care Act (ObamaCare) achieved by funding similar programs in the YMCA.“If we do this and we use exercise, we can have better health outcomes, but save insurance companies money, save hospitals money, but most importantly, save the people money, the community money, the patient’s money,” Watters said. “Healthcare is becoming ridiculously expensive and exercise is a low overhead modality that we can use to effect change.”