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article imageOp-Ed: CBS sportscaster challenges men, demands end to domestic violence

By Greta McClain     Sep 14, 2014 in Sports
Baltimore - During Thursday's pregame broadcast before the Baltimore Ravens played the Pittsburgh Steelers, a CBS sportscaster made an impassioned plea to men challenging them to "do something" about domestic violence.
Longtime CBS football host James Brown used the pregame show to voice his opinion about the release of video showing Ravens player Ray Rice assaulting his then-fiancee in a New Jersey casino elevator. He showed what a real man is — someone who does not shy away from hard subjects and believes women should be treated with respect — and said men play a key role in helping to eliminate domestic violence. He spoke about the intense scrutiny and outrage which followed the video's release before reminding viewers that he issued a similar challenge in 2012.
During the December 2, 2012 The NFL Today broadcast, Brown and his fellow analysts spoke about the murder of Kasandra Perkins, girlfriend of Kansas City Chiefs linebacker Javon Belcher. On December 1st, 2012, Belcher shot and killed Perkins before driving to Arrowhead Stadium, home of the Kansas City Chiefs, and turning the gun on himself. Referring to the murder-suicide, Brown said domestic violence was never acceptable adding:
"Violence is never the answer. Let’s not lose sight of the fact that a young lady lost her life and that men have a role to play in this. And hopefully we can help change that radically."
Brown gets it. He knows that despite years of awareness campaigns and advocacy, domestic violence is still a major problem in the United States.
During the 2013 one-day census conducted by the National Network to End Domestic Violence (NNEDV), advocates found that 66,581 adults and children sought help for domestic violence, while an additional 9,641 requests went unanswered due to a lack of resources. Every day an average of three women are murdered by their intimate partner in the United States. That means as many as 620 women have been victims of domestic violence homicide since the Ray Rice incident first became public.
On Thursday Brown admitted that domestic violence is bigger than football, however that did not deter him from using the pregame broadcast as a platform for reaching millions of views. According to Nielson, between 21-22 million views watched the game.
Brown understands that "it takes a village." Women cannot lead the campaign to end domestic violence alone, it will take men willing to take a stand, as Brown did, and demand that changes be made. It will take men teaching other men and boys about "what healthy, respectful manhood is all about." It will take men having the guts to admit they have a problem and seek help, instead of hiding behind a misguided vision of what it is to be a man. It takes men holding themselves and others accountable for violence, refusing to ignore or make excuses for domestic abuse. As Brown stated, it takes men joining with women in "collective outrage" so together they can "address the long-suffering cries for help by so many women."
Brown has the courage to not only make sure he does his part, but to demand that all men do the same, saying:
"So this is yet another call to men to stand up and take responsibility for their thoughts, their words, their deeds, and as Deion [Sanders] says to give help or to get help, because our silence is deafening and deadly".
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of
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