NFL Penalizes Player for Kneeling in Muslim Prayer.

Last week FIBA would not allow the Qatari Women’s Basketball team to compete at the Asian Games if they wore their traditional religious head scarves.  During a Monday Night Football game, the NFL penalized a Muslim player who knelt in prayer after scoring a touchdown.  Sports, which has traditionally taken a leadership role on social issues such as race and sexual orientation, is taking a backseat when it comes to concerns over religious freedom

The Kansas City Chief’s defensive back, Husain Abdulla, was penalized for unsportsmanlike conduct after he kneeled in Muslim prayer in the end zone after scoring a touchdown in a Monday Night Football Game.

Perhaps the official who threw the flag on the Abdullah play was unfamiliar with Muslim custom. Perhaps it was something else because there are numerous occasions where an NFL Player of Christian faith marks his score with a sign of deference, reflection, or tribute to their higher power without incident.

In other words, Brandon Marshall can get on knees and raise his hands to Jesus after touchdown with no penalty, but Husain Abdullah bows his head to mecca and its fifteen yards.

 

Abdullah took the high road after the game and said he thought he was penalized for sliding into the prayer, though the head referee cited “falling to the ground on the knees” in announcing the infraction.

The excessive celebration rule in which Abdullah allegedly violated states, that an NFL player is “prohibited from engaging in any celebrations while on the ground.” Prayer is never specifically mentioned, though NFL officials usually take a permissive view towards religious exhibition.

To use an example, Greg Jennings was not flagged for this prayer during Super Bowl XLV 48a01bf0-4855-11e4-acdc-77beb4cd7bd6_108869462-1

It is now time for NFL officials to take a permissive view towards all exhibitions of prayer, no matter what religion the prayer originates from.

After Shareholder Vote, FedEx Will Continue Its Sponsorship of the Washington NFL Franchise.

DownloadedFile-1FedEx has rejected a proposal from the Oneida Indian tribe to “drop or distance” the company from the NFL franchise in Washington, whose stadium, FedExField, it sponsors, until its ownership agrees to change the name of the mascot.

The proposal was led by the Oneida Trust of the Oneida Tribe of Indians of Wisconsin, together with other supporter such as broadcasters and congress men and women, who argue the franchise’s name is deeply offensive.

“We consider the Washington team name a racial slur, tracing back to colonial times when bounties were paid on a sliding scale for the skins of Native men, women and children, and traded like animal hides,” Susan White, trust director stated. “The term did not describe actions that honored Indian peoples then and it still represents racism and genocide today for Native peoples. We are the only race of people dehumanized by an NFL team. Washington Redskins is the most egregious.”

FedEx, a multi-billion dollar company, didn’t seem to fazed or even care about the Tribe’s position, stating, “We highly value our sponsorship of FedExField, which not only hosts the Washington Redskins, but is home to a variety of major entertainment and sports events and multiple community activities.” (This from senior vice president for marketing and communications Patrick Fitzgerald).

I take exception to FedEx’s comment for two reasons: a) it contains the team name that everyone finds offensive within it, b) everyone knows that FedEx gets its return on its sponsorship investment from the association it has with the NFL franchise, not from other entertainment events or community actives. I am sorry Mr. Fitzgerald, but your statement is insensitive, disgusting, and insulting.

Charlie Weis Fired As Coach of Kansas Football Team – Why Termination Clauses are Vital in Coaching Contracts.

The first college football coach to be fired comes early this year as the Kansas Jayhawks announced it will be releasing its head coach, Charlie Weis, from his official duties just four games into the season.

Coach Weis posted a 6-22 career record with the Jayhawks, including a 1-18 record in Big 12 play. The Jayhawks posted two wins this season over Southeast Missouri State and Central Michigan, but losses to Duke University and the University of Texas sealed his fate.

But the firing of Coach Weis will cost to the University approximately $7 million dollars. This is because KU terminated the contract with Coach Weis in only the third year of a five-year contract. Per the terms of the contract, however, KU is obligated to pay him the balance of monies owed for the current season and the next two seasons.

Therefore, Coach Weis, whose contract calls for him to receive approximately $2.5 million dollars a year, will receive the full balance owed to him of approximately $7 million dollars.[1]

But what allows for Coach Weis to continue receiving his millions of dollars per year even though he is relieved of the obligation to coach the football team? The answer is because Coach Weis, or the attorney/agent representing him, negotiated specific termination and buyout clauses as part of the employment contract.

Termination clauses in coaching contracts are broken down into two categories: termination for cause and termination without cause.

Termination for cause allows for a college or university to terminate a coach’s contract when it can show “just cause.”  Most universities maintain that “just cause” exist in situations when a coach violates a criminal statute, a coach knowingly commits or even condones by a member of his or her staff a violation of NCCA or conference rules by a member of his or her staff, a coach is unwilling to perform his or her duties, or in situations that would allow the termination of any other university employee considered to be in the same “classification” as the coach.

In addition, coaching contracts usually contain what is referred to as a “morals clause”. A typical morals clause states that any act by a coach, which is considered an act of moral turpitude, could result in termination. Acts of moral turpitude are usually defined as conduct that is considered contrary to community standards of justice, honesty, or good morals.

In an effort to protect the coaches and in the name of fair play, most termination clauses contain a due process section which include, or should include, the following: a notice provision, an opportunity to be heard or hearing provision, a term which outlines the time frame within such notice and hearing need to be scheduled, and what, if any, punishment could be enforced by the university if just cause is found to exist.

If a college or university can prove that it relieved the coach of his or her duties for cause, the school will be relieved from its obligation to pay him or her the remaining balance of monies owed under the contract.

Absent a finding of just cause, a college or university can still terminate a coach. However, they will be responsible for full payment under the terms of contract unless the contract calls for a negotiated predetermined settlement amount. Most predetermined settlement amounts consist of either a lump sum payment, full payment of all or specific components of the contract for the remainder of the contract term, or for a payment of a percentage of the compensation package for the remainder of the contract term. All of which, except for the lump sum, can be mitigated if the coach finds subsequent employment at another university or at the professional level.

If a coach, on the other hand, decides to breach a contract and work for another college or professional team before the expiration of his or her current contract, the coach would have to buy-out the remaining terms of his or her contract. Buyout clauses typically require a coach to pay their current university a specific amount in order for the coach to be released from a contract anytime before it has expired. Buyout clauses are an essential part of a coach’s contract from the university’s perspective since it is well established in the area of contract law that employers cannot sue for specific performance of a personal service contract. Per the terms of most buyout clauses, if a coach leaves before a release is obtained, he or she can be sued for breach of contract by the university or college. Therefore a buyout clause can discourage a coach from leaving a university early if the terms are severe enough.

In the end it is important to understand that even though negotiations are sometimes tough, intensive and time consuming, proper termination and buyout clauses are essential because they protect the interest of the coaches.

[1] What makes this even more interesting is that Coach Weis will also be paid under the terms of the contract he had with Notre Dame that he signed back in 2005. Per that contract, Coach Weis will be paid approximately $3 to $4 million dollars a year through the 2015 season. (Although this amount is mitigated by the KU contract.)

 

 

Charlie Weis: Being Paid Not To Coach – by Two Different Universities.

The first college football coach to be fired in 2014 comes early this year as Kansas fired its head coach, Charlie Weis, just four games into the season.

Coach Weis posted a 6-22 career record with the Kansas Jayhawks, including a 1-18 record in Big 12 play. The Jayhawks posted two wins this season over Southeast Missouri State and Central Michigan, but losses to Duke University and the University of Texas sealed his fate.

But the firing of Coach Weis does come with additional cost to the University and the students of KU. See Coach Weis is in the third year of a five-year contract, and like most coaching contracts – the University is obligated to pay him the balance of monies owed. Therefore, Coach Weis, whose contract calls for him to received approximately $2.5 million a year, will receive the full balance owed to him of approximately $7 million dollars. Yes, this money to pay Coach Weis for doing absolutely nothing for the next two and a half years, will be paid to him by a public university. Think about this, instead of that $7 million dollars being reinvested into the University for things like books, scholarships, dorms, professor salaries, and such, it will instead be paid to Coach Weis while he sits at home. What makes this even more ridiculous is that he will also be paid under the terms of the contract he had with Notre Dame that he signed back in 2005. Per that contract, Coach Weis will be paid approximately $3 to $4 million dollars a year through the 2015 season. (Although this amount is mitigated by the KU contract.)images

But who is to blame? You cannot blame Coach Weis because I assume he wants to earn his money by coaching the team. You cannot blame the football program and players because you have to assume that they were all playing their best.

The blame lies with the University’s administration that hired the coach and allowed for the school to enter into such terms. See, the administration was blinded by Coach Weis’s resume – for what he had done previously with other teams. Coach Weis first gained acclaim as an offensive coordinator in the NFL, posting successful stints with the Patriots and the Jets. He was then hired as Notre Dame’s head coach prior to the 2005 season where he had initial success. So KU decided to pay him based upon the success he had with these teams, not for any success that he brought to KU. And now because of this, current KU students will be cheated out of $7 million dollars that could of benefited their educational experience.

FIBA to the World “Diversity Shines Here” – Unless You Are a Woman

For those of you who are unaware, the 2014 Asian Games began this week in South Korea. The competition is the world’s second-largest multi-sport event, with about 9,500 athletes representing 45 countries. (Where’s ESPN?)

But even before the Games began, members of the Qatari women’s basketball team were told by FIBA, the governing body of international basketball, that in order for the Qatari team to participate in the games, the players could not wear their headscarves or hijabs, even though they do so in observance of their Islamic faith.

The reason FIBA announced was because that its rules do not allow “headgear, hair accessories, and jewelry.” FIBA stood firm on its arcane position even though it is fully aware that the women basketball players would be wearing headscarves designed specifically for female athletes and that athletes competing in rowing, badminton and other sports have been wearing religious headscarves without incident.

The Qatari team was alerted of FIBA’s stance regarding hijabs but had hoped FIBA would make an allowance based upon the fact that the wearing of a hijab was for religious reasons – not as a fashion statement. When FIBA failed to make any allowance, the Qatari women chose to forfeit the game and then subsequently officially withdrew from the tournament prior to their second scheduled game. (Yes, FIBA will invite you to play in the spirit of international competition, but if you don’t like its rules – go home.)

“We are here to push the international association that all Muslim teams are ready to compete in any competition,” stated Alham Salem M. al-Mana, a member of the Quatai basketball team.

FIBA based in decision on the premise that the hijabs create unsafe conditions on the court.  My question is how? What facts does FIBA have to support such a position?

In fact, many Muslims, and non-Muslims such as myself, have criticized the rule as discriminatory and Human Rights Watch challenged FIBA to prove that the headscarves are unsafe. “In the case of basketball, it’s difficult to see how a ban on the headscarf is anything other than an unnecessary restriction on the players’ rights to religious freedom and personal autonomy,” the organization said in a statement.

Human Rights Watch, along with a others, are pushing for FIBA to follow FIFA’s lead wherein, beginning last March, it has lifted its ban on religiously mandated headgear.

The ironic part of all of this is that the motto of the 2014 Asian Games is “Diversity Shines Here.” Apparently, however, FIBA is not bending any rules to live up to the creed.

When Its Absolutely, Positively the Right Thing To Do – Native Americans Boycott FedEx Because of Its Association with the Washington Football Team

The Osage Nation, an 18,500 member Native American tribe based out of Oklahoma, has initiated a boycott of FedEx since it owns the naming rights to the stadium where then Washington NFL football games are played.

The Osage Nation has instructed its employees to not use FedEx when an alternative service is available until the Washington team adopts a “less inflammatory and insulting” name. The Nation has also called upon other tribes throughout the country to follow suit.

FedEx has pointed out that it is closely followed the “dialogue and difference of opinion” regarding the team’s name but have made no indication of terminating the naming rights agreement it has with the franchise.

In addition, FedEx CEO, Fred Smith, when asked, declined to say whether or not he believes the team’s name should change.  This may be because Mr. Smith also owns a piece of the Washington based franchise.

In supporting the Osage Nation, RISE International vows that it will no longer use FedEx services. Hello DHL.

UPDATE: Antitrust Lawsuits Against the NCAA Regarding Scholarships Are Advancing Through Court.

A federal judge decided not to consolidate two cases alleging the NCAA’s previous ban on multiyear scholarships and limits on football scholarships are illegal. By way of background, as of 2012, the NCAA gives colleges and universities the option to offer multiyear scholarships to all athletes. This amended a previous rule instilled in 1973, which only allowed for one year renewable scholarships.imagesFormer Gardner-Webb University quarterback, John Rock, filed a lawsuit against the NCAA in 2012 claiming these rules concerning the duration and limits of football scholarships are in violation of both state and federal antitrust laws. On August 28, 2014, a similar lawsuit was filed on behalf of former Colorado State kicker, Durrell Chamorro.

In an attempt to consolidate the Rock and Chamorro cases, the NCAA objected because the Chamorro matter “suffers from certain legal defects not present in the Rock complaint.” U.S. District Judge Jane Magnus-Stinson agreed with the NCAA and ruled the cases would not be consolidated.

Magnus-Stinson wrote that there are “material” differences between the Rock and Chamorro cases, noting that Chamorro pleads two classes and Rock pleads one class. Chamorro’s attempted class requires players to have received a “full scholarship, grant or tuition discount,” and Rock’s attempted class does not require receiving a full scholarship.

Interestingly from a legal point of view is that the Chamorro complaint, in an attempt to prove its antitrust claim, argues that the NCAA cannot use amateurism or competitive balance as procompetitive justifications for limiting the number of football scholarships. If competitive balance is determined to be a legitimate justification, Chamorro’s lawsuit offered five less-restrictive alternatives:

  • The NCAA could require revenue sharing among schools.
  • The NCAA could replace its current roster restrictions with new ones that actually increase competitive balance.
  • The NCAA could impose limits on facility spending, instead of permitting major schools to spend “tens of millions of dollars on facilities that lesser schools cannot hope to imitate.”
  • The NCAA could impose limits on recruiting budgets.
  • The NCAA could impose restrictions on alumni donations to the athletics department.

This case is in its infancy, but the legal arguments in the area of antitrust are getting interesting.

What’s Good for the Goose, is also Good for the Gander. Should US Women’s Soccer Goalie, Hope Solo, Be Suspended from the National Team?

In June of this year, Hope Solo, goalkeeper for the United States Women’s National Soccer Team, was arrested on domestic violence charges stemming from an incident in which her 17-year-old nephew and half-sister sustained injuries.

According to the police report, Ms. Solo was the primary aggressor and instigator of an assault at a family party that left her sister and nephew with noticeable injuries to their heads and faces. After pleading not guilty; her trial is set for November.

But Solo was on the field Thursday night as the U.S. beat Mexico 4-0 in a friendly match in Rochester, N.Y.  She was even given the honor of wearing the captain’s armband in celebration of her setting the team’s career record for shutouts in its previous game.

The question is why.

In light of what is currently occurring in the NFL, celebrating Solo’s achievement right now is like allowing running back Ray Rice to continue to play for the Baltimore Ravens — and then awarding him the game ball for his next 100-yard game.

One cannot argue any differences between an NFL player involved in domestic dispute and Ms. Solo brawling with her family, both qualify as domestic violence.

The glaring contrast in Solo’s case is that while several football players recently accused of assaults have been removed from the field, she has been held up for praise by the national team.

There is a growing clamor of media voices calling for an athlete accused of domestic violence to be pulled from competition until the case is resolved. But unlike the recent stories that have unfolded in the NFL, this time the call is for the U.S. women’s national soccer team to suspend goalie Hope Solo.

What do you think? Should Hope Sole be suspended from the U.S. National Soccer Team?

The NFL Hires Four Women to Help Draft League Policy on Domestic Abuse.

Even thought these concerns were prevalent in the NFL previously, the year of 2014 has brought to the forefront issues surrounding domestic violence and the abuse of children. With Ray Rice, Adrian Peterson, Greg Hardy, Ray McDonald and now Jonathan Dwyer all being arrested on various abuse charges, what is the NFL to do? Especially in light of the fact that the individual franchise owners have continually failed to make the right decision and the fact that Adrian Peterson’s own mother, Bonita Jackson, in defending her son publically stated “When you whip those you love, it’s not about child abuse, but love. You want to make them understand that they did wrong.” –

WOW – she does realize her grandson is only four – correct?

What the NFL has decided to do is to hire four women, all with different backgrounds in the area of domestic violence, to help shape the NFL’s policy on domestic violence in the future.

Commissioner Goodell sent a letter to out to all NFL franchises and NFL staff summarizing the direction the NFL will be taking to handle such situations.

The full text of Goodell’s letter is below:

From Commissioner Goodell to teams and NFL staff:

Last month, I wrote to you and our staff that our organization will continue to evolve to meet our challenges and opportunities. We are committed to developing our talent and putting the best people behind our most important priorities.

Within our office, I am pleased to announce that Anna Isaacson, currently our Vice President of Community Affairs and Philanthropy, will take on a new and expanded role as Vice President of Social Responsibility. Anna has been leading our internal work relating to how we address issues of domestic violence and related social issues. In this new role, she will oversee the development of the full range of education, training and support programs relating to domestic violence, sexual assault, and matters of respect with the goal of accelerating our implementation of the commitments made in my letter of August 28.

Anna has devoted considerable attention to these issues in recent years and has developed strong relationships with both outside organizations and your staffs. Along with Director of Player Engagement and Education Deana Garner, Anna will lead our cross-organizational teams of employees in implementing these programs. We will work closely with your community relations, human resources and player engagement teams to implement programs in a way that is effective and beneficial for your own employees, their families and your communities. Needless to say, our entire office will be accountable for the success of these efforts and Anna and her team will have my full support.

In addition, because domestic violence and sexual assault are broad societal issues, we have engaged leading experts to provide specialized advice and guidance in ensuring that the NFL’s programs reflect the most current and effective approaches.

Specifically, we have retained the services of three senior advisors – Lisa Friel, Jane Randel and Rita Smith – to help lead and shape the NFL’s policies and programs relating to domestic violence and sexual assault. Each brings special knowledge and experience in these issues and will ensure that our efforts reflect the professionalism that should characterize everything the NFL does.

Lisa Friel was the head of the Sex Crimes Prosecution Unit in the New York County District Attorney’s Office for more than a decade, where she investigated and prosecuted cases of sexual assault, sexual harassment, domestic violence, human trafficking, and other similar forms of misconduct.

Jane Randel is the co-founder of NO MORE, a national initiative to raise the profile of and normalize the conversation about domestic violence and sexual assault.

Rita Smith is the former executive director of the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence.

Friel, Randel and Smith will work closely with me, Anna Isaacson, Deana Garner, and others in our organization on the development and implementation of the league’s policies, resources and outreach on issues of domestic violence and sexual assault.

Friel’s emphasis will be on the evaluation process of incidents of alleged domestic violence and sexual assault. She will advise me and our staff on disciplinary matters involving violations of law or of the Personal Conduct Policy.

Initially, Randel and Smith will focus on:

  1. Overseeing the development and implementation of the NFL’s domestic violence/sexual assault (DV/SA) workplace policy;
  2. Building on existing training curricula and education programs for all personnel, including players and non-players;
  3. Disseminating and executing completed training programs for all 32 teams, including executives, coaches, players and staff;
  4. Identifying and managing DV/SA resources to enhance current services such as NFL Life Line and the NFL’s Employee Assistance Programs for league and club employees and their families;
  5. Identifying and disseminating information to employees and families regarding resources outside of the NFL and clubs, including local advocacy and support organizations in each NFL community.

 Other leading experts, including Kim Gandy, president of the National Network to End Domestic Violence; former New Jersey Attorney General Peter Harvey; Esta Soler, founder of Futures Without Violence; and Kim Wells of the Corporate Alliance to End Partner Violence, are working with us to provide guidance on DV/SA education and policy, conduct our policy review, and identify state and local organizations throughout the country that can serve as resources for your clubs and your personnel.

The NFL also will continue to work with former NFL player Joe Ehrmann and his organization, Coach For America, and Tony Porter and his organization, A CALL TO MEN, to expand the scope of life-skills training and education for those associated with the game of football at all levels. Ehrmann and Porter, both of whom have met with clubs as part of our annual professional development sessions, will continue to educate your personnel and communities about character, respect and professionalism.

Biographical information on Lisa Friel, Jane Randel, and Rita Smith is attached. Anna Isaacson will reach out to clubs with next steps and additional resources, including contact information for our advisors. Please contact us should you wish to discuss anything related to these issues.

We are continuing to develop our organization to strengthen our ability to address the wide range of issues we face and other changes in our office will be announced soon. Our goal is to make a real difference on these and other issues. We know that we will be judged by our actions and their effectiveness.

About Lisa Friel

Lisa M. Friel joined T&M Protection Resources in October 2011 as Vice President of the Sexual Misconduct Consulting & Investigations division following a distinguished 28-year career as a Manhattan prosecutor. Since joining T&M Protection Resources, Ms. Friel and her team have developed policies and procedures, provided training workshops and conducted sensitive investigations into issues of sexual misconduct (both sexual assault and sexual harassment), harassment, hazing and bullying for primary and secondary schools, colleges and universities, athletic teams and leagues (collegiate and professional), non-profit organizations, corporations and private individuals. Ms. Friel began her professional career at the New York County District Attorney’s Office. Hired by District Attorney Robert M. Morgenthau in 1983, Ms. Friel specialized in sexual assault cases for the majority of her career at the District Attorney’s Office. She was the Chief of the Sex Crimes Prosecution Unit for nearly a decade and its Deputy Chief for 11 years. Supervising more than 40 assistant district attorneys, support staff and investigators, she typically managed 300 cases and investigations at any one time. Since her first days as a prosecutor in 1983, and continuing in her tenure at T&M Protection Resources, Ms. Friel has directed thousands of investigations into allegations of sexual assault and other misconduct and has trained hundreds of law enforcement personnel throughout the world. Lawmakers in Albany and Washington repeatedly called upon her expertise to toughen laws against sexual predators, combat human trafficking, create DNA databanks and establish laws and protocols to eliminate the backlog of untested rape kits on the shelves of police departments’ evidence rooms around the country.

An instructor, educator, lecturer, and former Division 1 varsity basketball and tennis player and basketball coach, Ms. Friel has connected with diverse audiences ranging from seasoned detectives to school children, doctors to volunteer sexual assault advocates, as well as athletes and athletic personnel at all levels. She has headlined legal, sports and education conferences, has provided training to all types of audiences and has participated in numerous interviews and films addressing sexual harassment and assault, rape, stalking and domestic violence.
Ms. Friel earned a Bachelor of Arts in history from Dartmouth College, graduating cum laude. At the University of Virginia School of Law, she finished in the top seven percent of her class and was awarded the Order of the Coif upon receiving her Juris Doctor. She lives in New York and is a mother of three.

About Jane Randel and NO MORE

Currently Chair of the Board of Directors of the Fifth & Pacific Foundation, Randel is a co-founder of NO MORE, a national initiative intended to raise the profile of and normalize the conversation about domestic violence and sexual assault. She is a member of the Pennsylvania Coalition Against Rape/National Sexual Violence Resource Center’s Honorary Board and the immediate-past President of the Board of the Corporate Alliance to End Partner Violence. In 2005, Ms. Randel was named one of 21 Leaders for the 21st Century by WomensEnews; in 2006, she was included on the Crain’s New York Business list of “40 under 40;” in 2009 she was honored by the Girl Scout Council of Greater New York for her work on teen dating abuse; and in 2012 she received the Hero with a Heart Award from the Joyful Heart Foundation. Ms. Randel also co-authored an award winning paper, “Coming into the Light: Intimate Partner Violence and Its Effects at Work” with Anne O’Leary-Kelly, Emily Lean, Carol Reeves of the University of Arkansas School Department of Management at the Sam M. Walton College of Business. She is a graduate of Wesleyan University in Middletown, Connecticut and lives in New Jersey with her husband and three sons.

NO MORE has been in the making since 2009 and was developed because despite the significant progress that has been made in raising awareness around these issues, they remain hidden and on the margins of public concern. Virtually every domestic violence and sexual assault prevention organization in the U.S. is behind NO MORE, along with corporate leaders, branding experts, celebrities, athletes and advocates nationwide. NO MORE was designed to unify everyone working to combat these issues in an unprecedented way – whether their focus is women and girls, men and boys, teenagers, children, minorities, rural or urban communities – as well as corporate leaders from a variety of business sectors behind one, powerful brand created to transform awareness and action. http://www.nomore.org.

About Rita Smith

Rita Smith began working as a crisis line advocate in a shelter for battered women and their children in Colorado in 1981. She has held numerous positions in Colorado and Florida since then in several local domestic violence and sexual assault programs and the state coalitions, including Program Supervisor and Director. She was the Executive Director of the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence for nearly 23 years. She has been interviewed by hundreds of newspaper reporters, appeared on many local and national radio and television news shows, including the Washington Post, USA Today, People Magazine, NPR, The Today Show, Good Morning America and Oprah Winfrey Show. She has co-authored several articles or chapters for books including a manual for attorneys working with domestic violence victims in Colorado, and an article on child custody and domestic violence published in the fall of 1997 in The Judges Journal (an American Bar Association publication). In December of 2011 she was named Distinguished Alumnus of Polk State College, and in November of 2013 she was chosen by the Association of Florida Colleges for the LeRoy Collins Lifetime Achievement Award. She believes that advocacy and social change are intricately connected, and cannot be done separately. She graduated from Polk State College in 1974 with an AA degree in Psychology. She received her Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Michigan State in 1976. She lives in Denver, Colorado.

Good luck to the NFL and Commissioner Goodell. Hopefully these decisions help steer the NFL in the right direction. Just remember, the new rules and policies that are to be put in place are not to be put there to protect the players, they are to protect the innocent women and children of abuse.