Alleged bullying in the NFL has sparked a dialogue at Foothill High School, where players are reminded of the zero tolerance policy on bullying.
Many high school football players look up to the NFL athletes. Cougar’s head coach Joey Brown said adults are the ones who need to set the example for the next generation.
“We are a family and everyone is valuable and everyone is important and no one is above anyone else here,” said Coach Brown.
Coach Brown has been coaching at Foothill High School for 11 years; he said it’s his responsibility to pass on important values.
“We’re molding characters as coaches and these young men are learning right and wrong,” said Coach Brown.
Athletes with the NFL are often thought of as role models. Allegations that Miami Dolphins’ Richie Incognito bullied teammate Jonathan Martin have Coach Brown reminding his team what is acceptable behavior on and off the field.
“For our kids, it shows them proper ways to act and deal with situations when you might be the victim or ways to respond to teammates that might be doing that,” said Coach Brown.
Demonstrating that even professional athletes don’t always get it right.
“Highlights that everyone is susceptible to making mistakes to judgment mistakes and behavioral problems,” said Coach Brown.
The players take this topic seriously; they say there is no room for hazing or bullying on their team.
“I want to be able to trust my teammates when I am out on the field and know they have my back,” said senior defense team captain Luke Thurston.
Coach brown uses positive reinforcement and motivation, sending a message that is loud and clear.
“Bringing people down is not ok, everybody is equal and there shouldn’t be any discrimination towards anybody,” said Thurston.
For more information on bullying please visit: http://www.stopbullying.gov/