Wednesday, July 25, 2012
This Saturday, the Jackson Free Press will sponsor the 8th annual Chick Ball in its ongoing effort to stop domestic violence and sexual abuse. With the many important women in my life, I believe Chick Ball is a very important event, and that brings me to my rant this week.
Last week, Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Dez Bryant turned himself in to police after his mother made allegations of domestic abuse against him. Bryant is no stranger to making headlines off the field with financial troubles and minor incidences off the field.
His mother accused the wide receiver of "grabbing her by the shirt and hair, hitting her in the face with his cap, striking her repeatedly in the hands and wrists, and pushing her in the chest," reported ESPN, after the two engaged in an argument.
Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo came out in support of Bryant later in the week.
"Stuff happens, and we all wish that certain things wouldn't, and I know that he's going to try to make sure in the future those things don't happen again," Romo said.
"But friends and your teammates don't leave you during those moments. They come back, and they tell you that we're here for you. Our football team is a close-knit team, and these moments should show that."
There is nothing wrong with Romo saying he supports his teammate, but Romo should try to get Bryant help.
The wide receiver will be 24 after the season, and his mother is 37. Bryant's mother was only 13 at the time she gave birth to Dez, and I am sure that made growing up hard on both mother and son.
I am not trying to pile on Bryant; I know his history. He has the ability to use his skills on the football field to help his family, but he can't do that if he derails his career with bad off-the-field behavior.
Romo, as the quarterback of this team, should take Bryant under his wing and urge his teammate to get counseling for striking his mother. Privately, Romo may be telling Bryant this. But publicly, Romo, the Cowboys and the NFL should come out against domestic abuse. To date, they haven't.
I also want to applaud athletes like Eli Manning for being part of the White House-sponsored "1 is 2 Many" public-service announcement in its effort to curb violence against women.
Chick Ball is a wonderful event for a very important cause that affects us all. Earlier this month, I learned that my wife and I are having a daughter. That means I will have another important woman in my life, and I would love to see her grow up in a world where she is protected from abuse.