GARLAND, Texas -- Stories and discussions about “locker room talk” have dominated many discussions over the past five days.
One Garland ISD football team prides itself on what they are talking about inside their locker room.
At South Garland High School, the Colonels football players say their locker room is fair game for lots of topics. Typically the conversations specialize in a whole lot of smack-talk, according to some players.
”Just a bunch of clowning around,” said senior John Price. “We talk about football, and arguments about NFL football, college football.”
The candid locker room conversations are getting more serious for the young athletes.
“This week, we have had a lot of conversations about domestic violence and how people feel about it,” explained sophomore Kyley Kinsey.
The team is preparing to launch its domestic violence awareness campaign. Each player is taking a pledge against abuse and challenging other athletes to do the same across social media.
”I feel like anything that has anything to do with a woman and abusing her, that’s not right at all,” said senior football player T.J. Williams.
The pledge idea came from their new Athletics Coordinator and Head Football Coach Josh Ragsdale. He has lead other teams in taking pledges against domestic violence over the past four years.
”It was laid on my heart that, yeah, I’m a football coach. Yeah, I love to win football games,” Ragsdale said, “but I’ve got a bigger opportunity to groom young men.”
The young men on South Garland’s football team say domestic violence is real across their peer groups. They say it is an issue most people do not want to talk about.
“I’ve had friends that have come and told me about it,” said senior John Price. “The only thing I can say, it’s not right.”
The players say when they are in the locker room, they will not tolerate any disrespectful conversations.
“I’m going to step in, I’m going to say something to him,” Price said.
The team says it is all about keeping one another accountable.
Coach Ragsdale and the athletes are encouraging community members to take the pledge to help stop domestic violence by downloading a pledge sheet from the South Garland Athletics website at this link.
The team is encouraging everyone to post photos holding their pledges to social media sites using #SouthAgainstAbuse.