With a reported 66 percent of NFL players being Black, it was shocking that the NFL’s specially created advisory board to address domestic violence within the league (following recent national attention) did not originally include a single African American. Black people should not only be the topic of this important conversation, but should also help to shape it. The NFL has since amended their original panel with the addition of two experts of color, one being esteemed scholar Beth Richie, director of the Institute for Research on Race and Public Policy at the University of Illinois at Chicago.
As a senior adviser, Richie joins the panel which was created to develop the NFL’s domestic violence and sexual assault educational and service programs as well as help the league revise their personal conduct policy.
“The problem of violence, particularly against women and children, can’t simply be addressed by public policies relying on incarceration. So it’s important for organizational and grassroots efforts to take into account the need for education, resources, outreach and social change,” said Richie in a UIC news release.
“This is a unique moment in our national consciousness as we consider the impact of violence against women and the role of institutions in preventing and responding to it. I look forward to working with the distinguished panel and the NFL to address these issues and deliver policies that will have a positive impact on the individuals most affected, the league overall and social institutions more broadly as we strive to enhance public awareness of and response to the problem of violence.”
Richie is a professor of African-American studies; criminology, law, and justice; and gender and women’s studies at UIC. She is also the author of the books “Compelled to Crime: the Gender Entrapment of Black Battered Women” and “Arrested Justice: Black Women, Violence and America’s Prison Nation.”
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