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O Atleta Como Vítima. Vinde a Mim as Criancinhas?

Pessoal, entre as muitas frentes de conversa com o Mestre Marcilio uma era a de enquadrar pais, treinadores e dirigentes por exploração de criançaas através do esporte. O Dr. Panhoca tb estava nas articulações. A busca de talento a qualquer preço tem levado a isso. Enquanto ficamos atentos vamos dar uma conferida no artigo da Psychology Today. E esticar o debate na comunidade Criança, (Atividade Física e os Vários Contextos e Ações que Prejudicam ou Estimulam o Direito de a Criança Brincar)

Sports Transgressions
The angry athlete
by Mitch Abrams, PsyD
Mitch Abrams, PsyD, a clinical assistant professor in the department of psychiatry at UMDNJ/Robert Wood Johnson Medical School.  April 5, 2010, Law and Crime
Athletes Can Be Victims Too. Being an athlete does not protect one from everything.
Published on April 5, 2010

It is somewhat amazing that with so much media attention focusing upon every episode of an athlete transgressing, more professional athletes aren’t at least careful, if not paranoid, that they will be the next headline.  In the court of public opinion, the jury will be out on Ben Roethlisberger and Santonio Holmes until there is some clarity of whether or not they committed any crimes.  Yet, with the fame and attention that they receive, why are they not getting better advice and direction on how to stay out of trouble?

In my book, I introduced the idea of Entourage Training: a program that is geared towards taking one member of each star’s entourage and provide practical training on how to keep their famous peer out of the negative spotlight.  Topics include anger management and conflict resolution, gang identification, handling issues with fans (male and female), and issues of threat identification.  These skills are useful because athletes sometimes aren’t mature enough to act in their best interest.  Sometimes there are people that may want to exploit them.  To have someone close to you who can help avoid those pitfalls is a very valuable investment. 

One may wonder, with all of the money that professional athletes have, why not just hire security?  Fair question.  It is akin to asking the athlete who can afford limousine service door to door, why he/she was driving under the influence of alcohol.  Unfortunately, it is because athletes, fallible humans like the rest of us, make a critical mistake: they think they can handle more than they can, and only realize they are wrong when it is too late.  Awareness of being a potential target needs to be basic training for athletes as they gain popularity.  Some sports organizations are already working on it, as are agents, but this needs to become the rule rather than the exception.

This myth of invincibility that the star athlete is anointed with starts when they are very young…far before the big lights shine on them.  It comes from the endless praise that they receive as they start to separate themselves as athletically superior.  Unfortunately, there is no guarantee that athletic superiority insulates them from the risks that all children may face.

A particularly disturbing set of circumstances is when the people that parents entrust their children with for coaching are the predators from whom the children need the most protection.  In the sport sociology world, Celia Brackenridge and many of her colleagues have been writing about abuse in sports for years.  Today, a story caught my eye that highlights the vulnerability of athletes.

Graham James was a revered Junior Hockey coach who was known in Canada for taking hockey players with athletic talent and springboarding them into top professional recruits.  His complete list of victims is still unknown, but he pled guilty to sexual assault after two of his former players (one of which was former NHL player: Sheldon Kennedy) reported his abusing them from the years of 1984 to 1995.  James was sentenced to 3 ½ years in prison, but the Canadian Press reported that James was one of over 14,000 pardons given in the years 2006-2007.  Sheldon Kennedy and fellow former NHL star, Theo Fleury (who also reported being a victim of James), were understandably angered when they heard the news of the pardon.  They were victimized and then when the person responsible was punished and then pardoned, healed scabs get ripped off to expose the inner pain.  Being an athlete did nothing to protect them from all of that.  In fact, there might have been even greater hesitance to come forward and report the abuse in the face of all of the press that would come along with it.

Please understand, by no means am I trying to paint the picture of all athletes as saints.  I completely understand that there are athletes that do cross that legal threshold and put others in danger; not to mention how they may sabotage their own lives.  My points are the following: first, athletes can and should do a better job at avoiding such transgressions.  And second, there are many athletes that are victims: victims of abuse, victims of crime, and victims of exploitation.  Even with all that athletes are showered with, we should not assume that they are immune to danger.  None of us are.



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