Statement on Miami Dolphins, NFL and Bullying
Director of Communications
The following is a statement from GLSEN Executive Director Eliza Byard on the alleged bullying that took place within the Miami Dolphins organization.
"The escalating story surrounding the Miami Dolphins and allegations of harassment reminds us that when we don't deal with bullying among children and youth, we have to deal with it throughout our culture and our workplaces, including and perhaps especially in sports. We applaud the NFL for appointing an independent investigator to get to the bottom of what actually happened within and outside the Dolphins’ facilities, including a recent report that the behavior was at least partially encouraged by coaches.
“We also hope the NFL will use this moment to evaluate further the culture in its locker rooms and football fields, especially related to bias directed at individuals because of their race, religion, sexual orientation or other characteristics. K-12 athletic programs often look to the example set by professional sports leagues, and this is an opportunity for the NFL to take a strong stance against bias, bullying and hazing. GLSEN has proudly partnered with the NBA and worked with other professional leagues, including the NFL, through our Changing the Game program.
"This Friday, GLSEN will address the NFL Diversity Council with partner LGBT organizations in a meeting arranged before the alleged bullying came to light. We look forward to addressing the matter more then and hopefully working more with the NFL to one day create a world where sports culture fully embraces respect for all, from youth sports to K-12 sports to professional sports.”