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When Jen Brill joined the NFL’s Legends Football Club in November of 2017 she was excited to join a growing team that was developing and refining a vast list of women’s sports programs and opportunities around the country.
It was a great opportunity and, though she was young, Jennifer Brock had a great foundation.
It was a bit off-the-wall and, like any team, it came with an incredible amount of pressure on her shoulders. That began soon after.
On January 26th, the NFL Legends traveled to Miami and fell short against the home team in the opening round of the playoffs. The team finished their 4 game season with a record of 2-3.
An ugly incident occurred in the locker room after the game.
Within that closed-door locker room, a battered Jen Brock was allegedly assaulted.
More than three months later on June 29th, the incident that took place was reported to a Miami detective with the Miami-Dade Police Department. The child then reported to DCF
Eight weeks later, on August 3rd, Miami Marlins All-Star pitcher Dan Straily was charged with battery involving the same victim.
That is only the beginning of a longer-than-expected process as the Marlins decide what, if any, disciplinary action they will take.
In its early stages of investigation, the Dolphins have already placed Straily on administrative leave while they decide what disciplinary action the club will take. The Marlins have scheduled a press conference for Friday to explain the ongoing process with the family.
Less than a year ago the WNBA promoted a young woman named Jessica Lawrence to the front office of the Los Angeles Sparks.
Without giving much of a clue, this controversial woman became a focal point within the league and created a monster of a stir within the very people that she worked with most closely.
Can you imagine? An openly gay woman so controversial that the league had to move to protect its sensitive side. For a league that so openly champions having women on its highest league of sports.
To somehow hide her from her peers and allow her more power and stature than the men under her was not an option.
From outside looking in, it appears that most of the issues weren’t helped by things that were said around the room.
Though some have done much to diffuse this situation, the fact that people stuck around and took these publicly divulged remarks to heart gave us all something to consider.
It is certainly not an easy time to be a woman on or off the court or field.
Criticize the actions of a man in a public setting and there’s the potential for backlash on social media. If you’re not already in a defensive posture, women are no exception.
Look no further than the sexist pictures and comments made by fans while watching the women’s national team play in the Olympics. “Are you pretty?”
This is already an extremely difficult and challenging time for women to be involved in sports and there is zero room for blaming the women involved. Their inexperience and young ages gave them a head start on this difficulty.
It’s bad enough, when you turn on the TV in any mainstream sport and you see women dominate as athletes. It’s bad enough when women break records and lead their teams.
It’s even worse when we see them getting their hands dirty and, in many instances, end up injured and/or badly beaten after a sporting event.
When fans see such violent and violent acts towards a woman, they often get defensive, even confrontational. The harassment of women cannot be ignored and ignored.
Every woman is treated differently and when the whole world is staring them in the face, it’s hard to just say “I’m sorry” or “I’m sorry” without them seeing it as deflecting the very behavior they’re punishing.
No matter how many offers and opportunities there are for women in sport, there will always be those who push them to hold back and suppress their ability to succeed in the same world as their male peers.
It will always be hard for women to take the lead in sports. In fact, the only way they will get it is to force themselves and to fight back. That’s something that women should never allow to happen.
When the Dolphins and the NFL will release disciplinary action as it relates to Dan Straily and the 18-year-old victim is unknown. What is known is that the legal process is far from over and the detrimental behavior will probably continue until the season begins.