Dallas Cowboys tight end Jason Witten, among his other off-field activities, has also dedicated himself to stopping domestic violence. Witten’s JWSF SCOREkeepers initiative places trained male mentors in battered women’s shelters throughout Texas to demonstrate positive male behavior in an effort to break the cycle of violence that plagues families affected by abuse.
Don McPherson is an ex-quarterback, member of the College Football Hall of Fame, a feminist and educator. In a CNN article in 2013 Mr. McPherson writes:
“Men do not just need to stop being violent. The vast majority of men are not violent. But men do need to stop being silent. Calling violence against women, whether street harassment or sexual harassment or rape or murder, a “women’s issue” allows men to ignore it as if we have no responsibility for it or stake in ending it. We all have grandmothers, mothers, sisters, daughters and female friends and colleagues. Our lives are inextricably interwoven; women’s issues of safety and equality directly affect our lives as men.”
“Beyond that, women are humans, with the same rights to safety and freedom as men. It is therefore our moral responsibility to not remain silent or passively on the sidelines, but to be actively engaged in confronting this problem in every corner of homes, communities and societies.”
Kudos. These two men show in very concrete ways that the concept of manhood defies narrow confines sometimes thrust upon it. Because football players can be – and are – so much more than their stereotypical meathead reputation.