CBS Sports' James Brown delivers anti-domestic violence message

James Brown gave an impassioned speech against domestic violence on Thursday.
James Brown gave an impassioned speech against domestic violence on Thursday. (via CBS)

Few sportscasters are more universally respected than CBS Sports' James Brown. (Claim bias or whatever you want but JB is a pro's pro and good luck finding a dissenting opinion.)

He showed why on Thursday night when he provided an impassioned, rational plea to a national audience -- "the NFL community and all men" -- to do something about domestic violence in light of the Ray Rice situation. Specifically, as he noted two years ago after Chiefs player Jovan Belcher killed his girlfriend and then himself, "to seriously confront the problem." 

“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 channelled 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 on-going 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 as Deion [Sanders] says, to give help or to get help, because our silence is deafening and deadly.”

It's a well-stated message that came across even better the way Brown phrased it. 

In light of everything happening around the NFL these days, it's a lesson everyone would do well to heed. 

CBS Sports Senior Writer

Will Brinson joined CBS Sports in 2010 and enters his seventh season covering the NFL for CBS. He previously wrote for FanHouse along with myriad other Internet sites. A North Carolina native who lives... Full Bio

Our Latest Stories
    24/7 Scores, News, Highlights