Written by: James Todd, MCCOY board member and retired IMPD Officer
Domestic violence is a serious, complicated, and disruptive force on families
and their children. Sports can have a positive influence on the lives of
young people, but lately some major professional sports organizations have
had some bad times regarding their treatment of the issue of domestic violence
among their team members. As unfortunate as these incidents are,
this is also an opportunity to shine a light on this important social problem.
Here are some steps I would like to see all professional sports organizations
do in response to the recent spate of domestic violence issues. This
would be a way to pay for past mistakes and begin to establish a sense of
social responsibility for the future.!
1) I would like to see an independent study to compare rates of DV in the professional sports world with that of the general population. I wonder if the rate is the same, higher, or lower. This would be useful information.
2) I would like to see Public Service Announcements broadcast during every game, paid for by the organization. These PSA’s should:
- Denounce domestic violence as criminal behavior, and unacceptable in a professional organization.
- Provide information about DV hotlines and services so that victims would have access to them and begin the process of escape.
- Refer perpetrators of DV to organizations that can help them to learn to stop abusing.
3) I would like to see the same steps repeated in the collegiate and high school sports communities. This is where the pros come from, and if there is going to be a true shift in perception it must begin early.
All professional sports organizations in America have an opportunity and an
obligation to make something good come from these recent events. This
seems to me to be a pretty good place to start.! !
Sergeant IMPD (retired)