Football takes a stand against domestic violence

James Frazier

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In the wake of numerous domestic violence incidents throughout the sports world, Sacramento State football players will be dedicating the Homecoming game vs. Cal Poly San Luis Obispo Oct. 18 to domestic violence awareness.

The issue has come to the forefront in recent months after several high-profile athletes have found themselves in legal trouble for violent offenses.

Most recently, former Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice was seen on tape striking his then-fiancée in a casino elevator. After initially receiving only a two-game suspension for the dispute, Rice was released by the team and suspended indefinitely after new footage of the attack was released to the public.

The San Francisco 49ers have also received heavy criticism for their decision to continue to play defensive lineman Ray McDonald while he endures the legal process for a domestic incident of his own.

The NFL’s seemingly lackadaisical approach on the matter has caused uproar throughout the media and has forced public figures to address the sensitive topic.

Hornets players as well as coach Jody Sears have emphasized the importance of high character and morality throughout their program. The opportunity to dedicate the game to such a significant and relevant topic was an easy decision.

Linebacker Darnell Sankey said he is proud and grateful to be able to take a stand for victims and those affected by domestic violence.

“It means a lot to play for such a great cause,” Sankey said. “I think we will have a little extra motivation to perform and represent for anyone that domestic violence awareness means something too.”

Sankey also said although he does not believe it is the responsibility of athletes to be role models, he would like to see more of them using their large public platform to reach out to the masses and spread positive messages, especially to the youth.

“I think it’s something everyone needs to be aware of, not just athletes,” he added. “But when you’re a famous athlete with millions of followers and young kids looking up to you, why not use that to do the right thing?”

Wide Receiver Nnamdi Agude’s message about domestic violence was clear: it should never happen.

“A man should never hit a girl, no matter what,” Agude said. “I speak for myself and the team when I say that it is completely unacceptable in any situation. We want to take a stand and let that be known.”

Agude hopes the tribute will help spread the word about the real threat that domestic violence presents.

“I’ve never been affected by [domestic violence] personally, but hopefully this game can help open some eyes and prevent it in the future,” Agude said.

Fellow receiver DeAndre Carter had a similar stance on the matter.

“We pride ourselves on character and morals, as a team,” Carter said. “We enforce a zero tolerance policy when it comes to domestic violence.”

The senior hopes the team’s gesture will have a rippling effect throughout communities, as well as the sports world.

“It needs to be known that it’s never okay for a man to put his hands on a woman. Not just in the NFL, but all over,” Carter said. “Hopefully we can set the example with this game and others will follow. People need to be aware of these issues and take a stand to help prevent them.”

Hornets’ fans can enjoy the Homecoming festivities and catch the game 6 p.m. on Saturday. The Homecoming rally will take place Thursday and the festival will be held at 3 p.m. Saturday.

Associated Students, Inc. is hosting a student tailgate featuring games, giveaways and music by KSSU.

Sac State students recieve free admission to athletic events with their OneCard. General admission tickets will be sold for $12 each. Attendees are encouraged to wear green and gold apparel.

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