Domestic violence is the hot button topic currently circulating around professional sports, particularly the NFL. The incident which involved Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice and the subsequent two-game suspension handed down by the league ignited debates on every sports talk outlet.
Alabama head coach Nick Saban decided to be proactive in teaching his players the proper way to treat a lady by bringing in a speaker that will address domestic violence as part of the team’s preseason presentations.
“That is definitely an area where we want to continue to educate the players,” Saban told Al.com. “The importance of respect for other people, compassion for other people, and treating people the way you’d like to be treated yourself.”
While domestic violence is at the forefront of current conversations, Saban’s goal goes beyond trying to address this specific topic.
“We teach our players they should not evaluate the circumstances of someone else in terms of how they treat them,” Saban said. “Every person should be treated with the kind of respect you would like to be treated with regardless of their station, anyone from whoever cleans the building, cleans the locker room, to whoever the president of the university is.
“The right way to treat all those people is the right way. There is not some other way. I think the message is very effective that we had the other night and we continue to support that in terms of the kind of respect we want our players to show other people.
Saban is often portrayed as a win-at-all-costs football coach that lacks personality and approachability. This is a clearly an instance where perception is not always reality. Saban isn’t just building a better football program than everyone else, he’s trying to build better men too.