By Sal Mondelli
President & CEO
Recently, the Minnesota Gophers Men’s Basketball Team visited 360 Communities to help out at our Burnsville food shelf and then traveled over to our Lewis House sexual and domestic violence shelter in Eagan. This is the team’s second visit to 360 Communities and shows just how committed these young men are to their surrounding community.
The visit came at a time when the issues of domestic violence and child abuse are front and center in this country because of high profile incidents involving NFL players, including the Minnesota Vikings’ Adrian Peterson. A positive note in all of this is that domestic violence and child abuse is getting some much needed attention. Depending on how we move forward, we may be on the verge of incredible change in how men engage in these issues.
These problems are much bigger than the NFL, than one sports team, or one community. These are endemic problems in our society that require a sea change in thought and action to turn the tide.
When I see people like CBS Sports Broadcaster James Brown and former Vikings star Cris Carter leading on these issues, I am encouraged. These things tell me that we are starting to see a culture shift. The real work of changing the community, though, begins with each one of us taking a stand. According to the Mary Kay Foundation, “domestic violence is rooted in social customs that reward people for having power over others. Victim blaming and the lack of serious consequences for abusers perpetuates violence against women and others.”
So what are we going to do with this moment in time? We, all of us, have the power to make it socially unacceptable to abuse anyone in any way. We have the power to hold this cause closer to our hearts than we do victory on any sports field.