STORY BY ADAM ROGAN
A group of about 20 students gathered in Stalnaker Hall this past Saturday to discuss current events and issues surrounding the NFL, the media and professional sports.
The discussion opened with the viewing of a commercial that would air during the Super Bowl regarding domestic violence from the NO MORE movement, a nonprofit aimed at the eradication of domestic and sexual violence.
The commercial sparked a conversation about how NFL players are oftentimes given soft or no punishments in cases of sexual assault and domestic violence.
Cases such as Ray Rice’s domestic abuse, Ben Roethlisberger’s alleged sexual assaults and the accused Ray Lewis murder were all mentioned as the students discussed what could be done to address and prevent these crimes.
Nina Strong, along with Ben Verhasselt and Quinn, organized the event because of how topical and noteworthy these stories have been lately.
“I think [having this discussion] accomplishes the fact that it’s kind of opening people’s eyes to problems they might not notice,” Strong said. “Even from people that don’t watch football, knowing that there are problems in this area (will encourage people to) try to help the issues at hand and the bigger picture.”
Loren Rosenberg, a first-year secondary education major, also attended the event and contributed to the conversation.
“I think it accomplished a lot,” Rosenberg said. “I think it really pretty much hit every possible topic you could talk about in modern sports today.”
In addition to the cases of violence, issues of race were also brought up, such as the portrayal of minority athletes by the media, and the Redskins team name controversy. The views of the group were mixed when it came to the Redskins’ mascot, some feeling that the NFL did not have a right to force a team to change their name, while others felt that the term is racially insensitive and should have to be changed.
First-year secondary education major Emily Carstens enjoyed the dialogue both for the discussion and for the conclusions reached as a group.
“It was really interesting. I liked hearing everyone’s opinions on the subjects,” Carstens said. “You can always keep your opinion if you don’t hear anyone else’s opinion on a subject, but if you start hearing other people’s opinion it might open up your mind a little more.”
Strong felt that not only was the dialogue important for opening up people’s minds, but also to have an effect outside of the Stalnaker Lobby.
“[The event will] hopefully have a bigger impact every day and day by day [people will] just try and keep that open-mindedness throughout their everyday lives,” Strong added.
NO MORE’s commercial was seen by over 102 million people during the Patriots’ victory on Sunday, and has garnered an additional 6.65 million views on YouTube in its first week online.