The recent sexual assault and rape charges against former NFL player, Darren Sharper, are a reminder of why all professional sports leagues need to take a PROactive approach to TEACHing respect and consent in sexual intimacy on an ongoing basis.
PROactive means you find the BEST educational programs for providing your athletes and employees with specific “How-To” skills for living a life of RESPECT. Instead of following the old format of giving rookies an education to stay out of trouble, you focus on having all athletes and employees live respectful and honorable lives.
You TEACH every athlete and employee “How To” give a partner a choice before engaging in sexual intimacy AND “How To” respect the answer.
You TEACH every athlete and employee “How To” intervene when you see someone trying to use alcohol to facilitate a sexual assault.
Just saying, “Get Consent” isn’t enough. To gain the confidence “to do the right thing”, many people need to see specific examples that are realistic and that work with their personality. Consequently, teaching “How To” is essential.
PROactive means you teach WHY!
My “Why” is: I never want another person to experience the trauma my sister experienced in 1989 when she was sexually assaulted.
Here is a WHY for “Why” every player and employee should care:
Every person deserves for each sexual experience to be consensual – of sound mind, freely given, wanted, and between 2 partners of legal age.
For those people who may be thinking, “Not all athletes or employees were raised with that standard,” you would be proving WHY the leagues need to be more PROactive.
PROactive means providing ongoing, effective education to the professional athletes and employees in your league throughout their careers. Like the military (who is aggressively working on addressing these issues within their ranks), you mandate yearly training for every single person in your league.
PROactive means you address the issue publicly outside of criminal cases involving your league and work to help reduce the crime from happening. You have All-Star players (who believe in respect, consent, and ending sexual assault) record public service announcements to be broadcast nationally on TV and radio that specifically teach our youth “How-To” respect boundaries for both themselves and their partners.
We at The DATE SAFE Project look forward to teaming up with professional sports leagues to accomplish this goal.
What are ideas YOU have for naming this campaign for professional sports leagues?