CBS host James Brown delivered a powerful 90-second monologue to viewers ahead of the NFL game between Baltimore Ravens and Pittsburgh Steelers last night. Brown ended a sombre 30-minute edition of Thursday Night Football with a piece straight to camera about the harm our "deafening and deadly" silence about domestic violence does, both in sport and in our everyday lives.
"Two years ago I challenged the NFL community and all men to seriously confront the problem of domestic violence, especially coming on the heels of the murder-suicide of Kansas City Chiefs football player Jovan Belcher and his girlfriend Kasandra Perkins. Yet, here we are again dealing with the same issue of violence against women.
"Now let's be clear, this problem is bigger than football. There has been, appropriately so, intense and widespread outrage following the release of the video showing what happened inside the elevator at the casino. But wouldn't it be productive if this collective outrage, as my colleagues have said, could be channeled to truly hear and address the long-suffering cries for help by so many women? And as they said, do something about it? Like an ongoing education of men about what healthy, respectful manhood is all about.
"And it starts with how we view women. Our language is important. For instance, when a guy says, ‘You throw the ball like a girl' or ‘You're a little sissy,' it reflects an attitude that devalues women and attitudes will eventually manifest in some fashion. Women have been at the forefront in the domestic violence awareness and prevention arena. And whether Janay Rice considers herself a victim or not, millions of women in this country are.
"Consider this: According to domestic violence experts, more than three women per day lose their lives at the hands of their partners. That means that since the night of February 15th in Atlantic City, more than 600 women have died.
"So this is yet another call to men to stand up and take responsibility for their thoughts, their words, their deeds, and to give help or to get help, because our silence is deafening and deadly.”