Hello, friend – Super Bowl Sunday is coming up! Though we’re just as excited as everyone else to find out whether the Buccaneers or Chiefs walk away victorious, the annual sports tradition has us thinking about an even more important issue: the significant role of athletics in American culture and what their influence can mean for the fight against sexual harassment, misconduct and abuse.
It’s hard to imagine a single activity with a broader audience and participation than sports. Nearly 100 million people watched the Super Bowl in 2020, according to Nielsen data, and one poll found that 73% of people played sports when they were younger, with 25% continuing to play as adults.
This data suggests that sports are a source of unity in a culture that often appears increasingly divided into geographic and ideological teams. Sure, every sport has its rivalries, but they are a source of healthy competition and fun. No matter who you are rooting for, sports provide a common experience.
Unfortunately, the sports world has faced major challenges related to sexual misconduct. In recent years, we’ve seen cases of sports leaders and players committing sexual misconduct or otherwise turning a blind eye to unacceptable behavior.
At RALIANCE, we believe that this can change, and that sports and athletics can disrupt systems of abuse by preventing misconduct from happening in the first place. This month, RALIANCE’s blogs will offer tips and toolkits that can help coaches and athletic departments model healthy attitudes and behaviors. From youth sports all the way to professional teams, these tips will assist sport leaders as they seek to build character and foster a commitment to look out for the safety and well-being of others.
We’re glad you’re on this journey with us to learn more about the positive potential of sport – be sure to check back next week for more!
RALIANCE provides consulting, assessment, and employee development services to help build more equitable workplace cultures and create environments free from sexual harassment, misconduct and abuse. We stand ready to support your organization’s goals – contact us today at [email protected] to get started.