Dallas Cowboys tight end Jason Witten is well known for being an advocate for battered women. Having grown up in a home where domestic violence against his mother was an alleged issue, Jason has made the subject a key point for the efforts of the Jason Witten SCORE Foundation. One of the focus areas for his work is in helping young men break the cycle of abuse by providing positive male role models during the formative years of their lives. To target young boys who are prone to continuing the cycle, Witten's group specifically seeks to get these mentors into situations where they work with the sons of women who seek the safety of various women's shelters in the Dallas-Ft. Worth area. He has also launched a program to provide positive influences for other boys in the area as well.
It should come as no surprise to anyone that the Senator is taking a firm stance on the recent issues surrounding Ray Rice. He recently addressed the subject with Nick Eatman over at the mothership.
"It's disappointing to see. I don't know all that happened, but I did see the video. Obviously it's unacceptable. Not only in the NFL as professional athletes, but as men in this world. We're all accountable for our actions and how we handle ourselves in this setting. There's no question you're a role model." - Jason Witten
Witten did state that because of his position as a union representative he was somewhat hesitant to speak too openly but he did go on record stating that he was highly disappointed in the actions of his fellow player.
"For somebody that's an advocate for (stopping) domestic violence ... seeing that video, it was disappointing to see. More than anything, domestic violence is real and something that goes on and is frequent. I think a lot of athletes do a good job with that. We don't know what happened there, but from what we see, obviously it's disappointing."
The Cowboys tight end is not the only Dallas player to express his opinion on Rice's actions. Teammate Brandon Carr, who has experienced the effects of domestic violence in his life as well, is also speaking out. Carr's former teammate (with the Kansas City Chiefs) and best friend Jovan Belcher murdered his girlfriend Kasandra Perkins before turning the gun on himself and committing suicide in 2012. It was an eye opening event for the Cowboys cornerback. Carr has publicly taken the position that domestic violence is not a "women's issue"; it is a problem for all of us. To do his part in helping to curb the effects of the abuse of women, Carr is active in Dallas mayor Mike Rawlings' campaign to break the chain of abuse in the city.
As a woman, a Cowboys fan, and as someone who knows the impact of domestic violence first hand it makes me proud to see these men taking a firm public stand. The message is being sent loud and clear: Real men don't hit women. As Carr states:
"I don't view it as a women's issue. For me, it's very real." - Brandon Carr