Ross-supported proposals would combat bullying

Published on NewsOK Modified: February 25, 2014 at 3:31 pm •  Published: February 25, 2014

MIAMI (AP) — In the wake of the Miami Dolphins' bullying scandal, the NYU sports and society program proposed a range of initiatives Tuesday for youth athletics to combat intolerant behavior in sports.

The NYU program issued a white paper Tuesday examining the problem. Work on the paper began after Dolphins' owner Stephen Ross, a school alumnus, approached law dean Trevor Morrison in December to discuss ways to increase civility and respect in sports and society at large.

"We must work together toward a culture of civility and mutual respect for one another," Ross said in a statement. "Something needs to be done so that every man and woman, young and old, can participate in sports on all levels and find a positive and meaningful experience. We will use this opportunity to make a positive change."

With Ross' support, bills have been introduced in the Florida House and Senate that would mandate education on bullying and call on athletes to take a pledge not to harass each other.

The NYU white paper was written by professor Arthur R. Miller and other faculty who are members of the sports and society program.

"Bullying in sports is only one aspect of a larger phenomenon of harmful behavior in many spheres of society: schools, workplaces, social, and community settings," the paper said. "Although many government, educational, and other social institutions have done some work to curb bullying behavior in their ranks, these efforts often are not coordinated or comprehensive enough to change the existing culture."

The paper proposes a youth education initiative to combat racism and other forms of intolerance in sports, and to promote a culture of respect.

An investigation for the NFL determined Dolphins guard Richie Incognito and two other offensive linemen engaged in persistent harassment of tackle Jonathan Martin, another offensive lineman and an assistant trainer. Ross said the scandal motivated him to seek ways to address the problem of bullying in society.

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