Thanks to Sportswriters Who Speak Out!

I love sports writers mug

October is National Domestic Violence Awareness Month and I can’t think of a better time to salute a group that has been doing their fair share of the awareness-raising for almost two years.

I’m talking about sportswriters. Seriously.

In February of 2014, when the elevator doors opened and Baltimore Raven Ray Rice grabbed the media’s attention for months, sports writers and broadcasters did more than report on the punch that put his girlfriend on the floor. Many of them took a heartfelt stand against any professional athlete who would commit an act of violence or sexual assault against a woman.

They questioned the judgment of team owners, coaches and the NFL,  all of whom fumbled through the disciplining of Rice as well as other perpetrators of violence off the field, including Ray McDonald, Adrian Peterson, Greg Hardy,  Junior Galette, Jonathan Dwyer, etc.  And through it all,  they continue to keep this issue on our collective radar.

Last week, NFL legend-turned-broadcaster Terry Bradshaw made us particularly proud when he surprised both the viewers—and his fellow broadcasters—on a Fox pregame show by sounding off about domestic violence and the NFL. Among the highlights:

 “Anybody in my opinion, that lays a hand on a woman—I don’t care who you are my friend—you never come back to this league.”

In Bradshaw’s world,  there would be no room for Dallas Cowboy Greg Hardy, who was convicted of assaulting a girlfriend last year.

So  thank you to Terry Bradshaw—and kudos to all of the other Upstanders. By that I mean all of the sportswriters and broadcasters throughout  the country who continue to  keep this issue front and center. There are certainly many more who deserve our acknowledgement and respect—but  here is a group we particularly appreciate:

Don Van Natta, Jr. and Kevin Van Valkenburg, ESPN
James Brown, CBS
Mike Tanier, Bleacher Report
Jane McManus, ESPN
Christine Brennan, USA Today
Juliet Macur, NY Times
Katie Nolan, Fox Sports
Louis Bien, SB Nation
Dave Zirin, TheNation
Diana Moskovitz, Deadspin
Louisa Thomas, Grantland
Katie McDonough, Salon