NFL Players Call on Coaches to Help End Domestic Violence

The Baltimore Ravens, coming off their victory over the San Francisco 49ers, certainly know what it takes to win. And Ravens new defensive lineman Chris Canty wants others to know what it takes to build winning relationships.

Canty was one of several members of the NFL community to speak before hundreds of coaches from middle schools, high schools, colleges and universities as well as community leaders who attended A Call To Coaches: Your Voice Counts held in Baltimore, Md. 

Canty shared how developing a healthy relationship with his fellow players led to success not just on the field, but off the field too. The event focused on helping those in attendance develop, mentor and lead young men to shift social and cultural perceptions of manhood. Other speakers included NFL Players Association Manager of Player Affairs and Development Willis Whalen, CBS Sportscaster James Brown, President of Coach For America and former Baltimore Colt Joe Ehrmann, and Co-founders of A CALL TO MEN Tony Porter and Ted Bunch.

“Coaches have tremendous power and influence in shaping who young athletes will become – not only on the field, but in society and in their own relationships. When coaches use their status as mentors and role models to instill character, respect and other healthy qualities in their players, they can take an active role in breaking the cycle of violence in our society,” said Brown, an advocate for engaging men in domestic violence prevention. 

A young athlete who attended this seminar said he learned that he doesn’t need to yell or curse and be aggressive to get what he wants.  Indeed, violence and aggression on the field and off could very well lead to relationship and/or domestic violence.

Materials from the A Call To Coaches training seminar can be downloaded on the Your Voice Counts website. The Your Voice Counts awareness campaign and its resources were created specifically for men and offer a variety of ways people can make a difference in their communities by speaking out against domestic violence.  The next coaching session will take place next month in Seattle.

For more than a decade, Verizon has been a champion of ending domestic violence through its HopeLine program and other philanthropic efforts designed to help victims become survivors and educate youth and community leaders about the importance of healthy relationships.