Should domestic abuse get more attention?

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By Charles Glover, Jr.

I believe that the current US system in place for dealing with domestic violence is broken and needs to be fixed. It is a complex and at times difficult to address domestic violence, but our country goes overboard to address issues it deems serious. Can we honestly say our country is doing the best it can to combat domestic violence?

Unites States Attorney General Loretta Lynch has been vocal about putting an end to domestic violence.

Unites States Attorney General Loretta Lynch has been vocal about putting an end to domestic violence.

The United States Department of Justice defines domestic violence as “a pattern of abusive behavior in any relationship that is used by one partner to gain or maintain power and control over another intimate partner. Domestic violence can be physical, sexual, emotional, economic, or psychological actions or threats of actions that influence another person.”

The expansive definition of domestic violence should help illustrate the complexity of coping with such a widespread issue. October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month and the concerns regarding the system currently in place to deal with domestic violence seem to be rising.

New York Giants kicker Josh Brown, who was suspended 1 game to begin the season for domestic violence, is having his case reexamined by the NFL after more information surfaced regarding domestic violence against his now ex-wife.

New York Giants kicker Josh Brown, who was suspended 1 game to begin the season for domestic violence, is having his case reexamined by the NFL after more information surfaced regarding domestic violence against his now ex-wife.

Another NFL player, this time New York Giants kicker Josh Brown, is in the headlines following the release of reports of domestic violence claims from his now ex-wife. The NBA regular season will start in a few days, but Sacramento Kings guard Darren Collison will not be available for the first 8 games as he serves his suspension for domestic violence against his girlfriend. And as excited as Chicago Cubs fans are to be in the World Series, it is possible the last outs of the series could be recorded by their closer Aroldis Chapman, who began this season serving a 30-game suspension for allegations of domestic violence against his girlfriend.

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These athletes garner extra scrutiny for their acts of domestic violence but the issue itself is unfortunately still viewed as a task too large to handle. While the question on many people’s minds is how do we put an end to domestic violence, the greater question is why don’t we treat domestic violence the way we treat child abuse and neglect?

Attorneys and law enforcement officials often assert that their greatest challenge in prosecuting alleged perpetrators of domestic violence is lack of evidence or cooperation from the alleged victims. This is an understandable roadblock, however what is incomprehensible is that the federal or state government has not found a way to circumvent this obstacle. We have countless examples in this country of people finding a way to address serious concerns.

Mary Ellen McCormack, showing visible scars of abuse at age 10 in this picture, was the nation's first widely recognized case of child abuse.

Mary Ellen McCormack, showing visible scars of abuse at age 10 in this picture, was the nation’s first widely recognized case of child abuse.

Take for example the case of Mary Ellen McCormack. Mary Ellen was born in 1864 in New York City, but due to her father’s death and mother’s inability to care for her, became a foster child at the age of two. Her foster-mother Mary Connolly, was eventually investigated and convicted for abuse of Mary Ellen which included daily beatings, malnutrition and numerous malicious and neglectful actions. This landmark case in 1874 for child abuse was largely made possible because of laws that existed against the inhumane treatment of animals. That’s correct.

Henry Bergh and Elbridge Thomas Gerry of the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) helped ensure that Mary Ellen was removed from her foster home before the trial and handled her legal case as well. After having success with the case, and having formed the ASPCA in 1866, they helped form the first child abuse and neglect agency in the country, the New York Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NYSPCC).

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This story highlights the struggles America has had in providing systemic protection for those in need in our country. The formation of the NYSPCC in 1874 was a positive step for beginning to deal with child abuse but it would take another century for the federal government to enact legislation on the issue with the passing of the Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act in 1974.

There is no disputing the difficulties associated with trying to help people dealing with domestic violence but there needs to be greater urgency in the matter. For those brave enough to seek help, they are faced with limited options. A restraining order is not accompanied by around the clock police surveillance or protection. Shelters and hotlines are helpful but they require the victims to assume all of the initial risk in seeking assistance.

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There should be a statewide agency for domestic violence that is modeled after each state’s child protective services to allow the community to be better equipped to assist those in need. These agencies should investigate, monitor, and take action against allegations of domestic violence in the same manner they are supposed to for child abuse. It is clear the criminal justice system alone is ill-equipped to make the strides necessary to drastically reduce domestic violence. The time has come to move past creating awareness and start creating solutions.–OnPointPress.net–

Charles Glover, Jr. is a senior writer for OnPointPress.net and aspiring author. Follow me on Twitter @GloverIsGood.

Hank Aaron highlights racism, past challenges, in accepting honor

Hank Aaron began his MLB career in 1954 with the Milwaukee Braves.

Hank Aaron began his MLB career in 1954 with the Milwaukee Braves.

By Charles Glover, Jr.

On Tuesday, April 15, Major League Baseball (MLB) will continue its annual tradition of honoring Jackie Robinson throughout the league. All players will have the option of wearing his league-wide retired number 42 as a way of celebrating Robinson’s contributions to the game. Meanwhile, Henry “Hank” Aaron continues to point to changes that still need to occur in the game and in society.

Hank Aaron was honored in Atlanta as he was celebrated for his 715th home run last Tuesday.

Hank Aaron was honored in Atlanta as he was celebrated for his 715th home run last Tuesday.

Aaron remains in the consciousness of MLB as the 40th anniversary of his record- breaking 715th home run was honored on April, 8. Aaron explained how taxing the mental and emotional toll was during the 1970’s as he was approaching Babe Ruth’s record. Some were bothered by Aaron’s comments about the racism he faced and the racism he still notices in the game of baseball. Aaron made reference to the difference in racism by stating:

“The biggest difference is that back then they had hoods…now they have neckties and starched shirts.”

Aaron’s comments were made in reference to the many issues President Obama has faced with Republicans and points to Aaron’s awareness of the continued challenges facing African-Americans and other minorities in this country.

While Aaron is remembered for his 755 career home runs, he also had 3771 hits and was a career .305 hitter.

While Aaron is remembered for his 755 career home runs, he also had 3771 hits and was a career .305 hitter.

This country has seen a great deal of advancements in racial disparities in sports, business, and politics since Aaron’s last MLB season in 1976. With these changes has come an argument by some that this country has moved past the deep bigotry and prejudice that unfortunately is woven into the fabric of this nation. Aaron continues to stand as a firm reminder of struggles many black people have faced and overcome as his baseball achievements may only be surpassed by his civil rights contributions.

Hank Aaron received high accommodations off the field as well, as he was awarded the Presidential  Medal of Freedom in 2002.

Hank Aaron received high accommodations off the field as well, as he was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2002.

Aaron will always be defined by his mentality of hard work. As he states:

“If a person wants something bad enough, he works very hard for it.”

This approach has not only resulted in a Hall of Fame baseball career, but a Presidential Medal of Freedom (in 2002) and the Thurgood Marshall Lifetime Achievement Award from the NAACP (in 2005). Aaron’s recent comments gave insight from a man who has experienced extreme prejudice while demonstrating prolonged excellence.

Hank Aaron is not only a Hall of Fame baseball player but a life long civil rights activist.

Hank Aaron is not only a Hall of Fame baseball player but a life long civil rights activist.

The Reverend Jesse Jackson is a close friend of Aaron’s and worked along his side for years while working towards improving civil rights in this country in the late 1960’s.

“We worked very closely during that period,”  Jackson recalls, demonstrating how long Aaron has dedicated his life’s work to bringing people together.OnPointPress.net

Charles Glover, Jr. is a sports aficionado and a management training consultant. Follow me @OpenWindowMES on Twitter.com.

NCAA March Madness vs. NBA draft policy: Are changes needed? (Part I)

The logo for the NBA draft.

The NBA Draft Logo is on the minds of March Madness players who hope to make the leap to the NBA this summer, but as debate heats up it is clear that changes should be considered.

By Charles Glover, Jr.

As March Madness continues to draw more basketball fans to the television, the topic of players making it to the National Basketball Association (NBA) frequently comes up. The current model for the NBA draft allows for players to declare for the draft a year after graduation from high school. The common route for exceptional players is to spend a year in college playing basketball before declaring for the draft, a prospect that many are unhappy with and constantly discuss.

NBA Hall of Famer Jerry West

NBA Hall of Famer Jerry West has shared his views about the draft policy.

It is clear that the current NBA draft model is unpopular with many fans and players. Among the complaints with the model are the claims that NBA product is being compromised, the NCAA product is disturbed, and that the majority of the young players are unprepared for the fame, fortune, and high expectations. Although there is validity in some of these concerns, there are also exaggerations attached as well. Hall of Famer Jerry West, recently commented on the issue, in assessing the NBA talent pool.

“The NBA is in the worst shape it’s ever been,'” he said. One of the reasons for his critique was based on the number of young players yet to mature into what they were expected to as they were brought into the league. Another Hall of Famer, Charles Barkley, took it a step further by making it very clear that players need more time.

“I want kids to stay in college for two years…bad teams aren’t getting help, they’re getting projects,” Barkley said.

Barkley has been vocal as a March Madness commentator in sharing his opinion that college players need a minimum of two years in college to mature enough to be productive in the NBA as soon as they are drafted.

Hall of Famer Charles Barkley

Hall of Famer /TNT and March Madness Commentator Charles Barkley has consistently stated that potential NBA players need a minimum of two years in college in order to develop their game.

While West and Barkley are focusing on negative aspects of young players drafted in the NBA, they are completely absolving the executives that are paid millions to evaluate and enhance the performance of the young players they bring into the league. In fact, there is no direct correlation between age and performance as demonstrated by many of the recent draft classes. When supporters of players being eligible to enter the NBA straight out of high school mention recent ‘One-and-done players’ who are successful in the NBA, the counter is to call them ‘exceptions.’

The reality is every NBA player is the exception. Additionally, there is little to show that players like Anthony Davis, Kyrie Irving, or John Wall needed to stay in school a second year in order to become good players in the NBA. However, there is no escaping the reality that there is always an abundance of players not quite good enough to excel at the highest level of basketball, regardless of how long they prepare before entering the league. A possible solution is changing the NBA draft to resemble the college draft rules of Major League Baseball (MLB).

Anthony Davis (l) and Kyrie Irving (r) are former number 1 overall picks that spent less than two years in college.

Anthony Davis (l) and Kyrie Irving (r) are former No. 1 overall picks who spent less than two years in college.

MLB’s draft rules allow players to declare for the draft straight out of high school but if the player elects to go to college he must stay for at least three years. The NBA should adopt that rule and amend it to two years in college. The NBA is the best place for players to improve their games.

“College coaches work more on masking a player’s weaknesses…rather than improving the player and risk losing in the process,” NBA trainer and ESPN insider David Thorpe said about the issue.

Thorpe’s assessment explains why so many players have several skills that need to be developed, even after spending years in college. If the NBA wants to improve its product then the new commissioner, Adam Silver, and his team needs to hold the million dollar executives who own and operate NBA teams accountable for better scouting and developing of the young players drafted in the NBA.–OnPointPress.net

Charles Glover Jr. is a sports aficionado and management training consultant. Follow me @OpenWindowMES on Twitter.com.

MLB changes playoff format, aims for renewed interest

MLB Commissioner Bud Selig.

MLB Commissioner Bud Selig.

By Charles Glover, Jr.

Major League Baseball hopes the additional playoff team added in each league will spark greater interest in postseason play this season. MLB hopes intrigue drastically increases from the 2012 World Series, which was easily the lowest rated series over the past thirty years.

World Series ratings since 1984.

World Series ratings since 1984.

Tuesday and Wednesday night will be a one game elimination playoff game between the two Wildcard teams from the NL and AL respectively. The one-and-done format can increase excitement for that game for casual viewers. The Los Angeles Dodgers, Atlanta Braves, Boston Red Sox, are among the larrgest national fanbases that will have a tteam represented in the 2013 playoffs. Thursday will be the beginning of the divisional series where teams move to the next round by winning the best 3 out of 5 games.

Alex Rodriguez continues to fight his appeal of a 211 game suspension imposed by Bud Selig.

Alex Rodriguez continues to fight his appeal of a 211 game suspension imposed by Bud Selig.

There are some obstacles for the MLB’s hopes for increased interest in this year’s playoffs despite the change in format. The most marketable team in baseball, the New York Yankees, are noticeably absent and there are few individual stars that are big draws in the game of baseball today. Alex Rodriguez’s appeal of a 211 game suspension for PED use and other alllegations also threatans to take away attention from the MLB playoffs. The greatest challenge to the MLB playoffs however, is the exceptional interest in college and professional football in this country.

The change in format for the playoffs was designed to create a momentum of intrigue in baseball as it enters the postseason.The extra playoff spot is expected to give more teams an opportunity to make the playoffs, which would hopefully bring more interest in more teams for a longer period of time. The challenge for MLB is the lack of star power in their sport and the enormous popularity of competing sports, make the likelihood that interest will grow exponentially minute. It is unlikely the ratings for the World Series this season will be worse than 2012 but MLB is hoping for more than modest growth in interest in this year’s playoffs.-Onpointpress.net

Charles Glover, Jr. is a sports aficionado and management training consultant.