By now the whole world is aware of the video and audio of Donald Trump on a bus proudly discussing sexually assaulting women because he was in a position of power back in 2005, and in response to being caught, the Republican candidate for President has written the entire incident off as being unassuming “locker room talk”.
People who spend thousands of hours in high school locker rooms are speaking up and confirming: No one is speaking like that in their locker rooms. Several journalists around the nation have connected with their local coaches about Trump’s comments, with all coaches agreeing in unison that their programs would not accept Trump’s comments from any of their student athletes.
As a an advocate for families, coaches and agents of student athletes I urge all of you to take a moment to have a very important conversation with your beloved athletes, male and female and make sure to share 3 very important things.
1. Share your desire to create a safe space for them to ask questions about why everyone is talking about this right now? It is vital to foster environments of open communication with your athletes, especially now with access to so much information on the Internet. Encourage them to seek understanding through reputable resources and let them know that they are free to form their own opinions independent of you.
2. Affirm the importance of being an ally to women and against anyone who does not speak of that demographic or any other demographic in a negative light! There are many people that are different from each and every one of us, but that’s what makes our teams so strong. Everyone has their role to play, and they play it well when they feel empowered by others that are different from them! Be that coach, be that father or mother!
3. Remind them that the locker room is sacred ground. It is a privilege to play a sport in school and they should not jeopardize that with bullying and hazing like language.
Take your platform seriously and use it to add value to the lives of the people you share the most time with!