“Coco McAtee, I thank the stars everyday that we had that conversation and I decided to have you come and talk with my Girl Scouts. That is one of the best things I think I ever did for those girls..."

Coco McAtee LSCSW
Family Life Educator | Speaker | Facilitator


Telling the Truth About Bodies


Young Footbal Players

October 16, 2014

Taking One For the Team
Sadly, we hear about a New Jersey high school football that reportedly has had a pattern of abuse occurring in the locker rooms in the form of “hazing”.

Without revisiting all the sordid particulars, most of us are more than alarmed.  After Penn State and Sandusky, to learn that now the kids themselves are delivering such abuse to their peers is shocking.

In some of the readings I have done throughout my years, the notion of ‘grooming’ appeared.  This behavior is where is the perpetrator methodically and patiently grooms the victim to be available for the abuse and to participate… and I do not mean in a cooperative way, as they have been manipulated, frightened and confused by the complexity of the relationship.

This is about power and domination as well as humiliation.  Consider how might a person develop this mindset of treating others this way.  Sometimes they were treated in like manner and no one intervened to correct their view of themselves, the situation, and the responsibility of the perpetrator.

Actively teach children to be kind to themselves and others.  Encourage the training of youngsters to care for something more vulnerable and dependent than themselves to foster empathy.  The football players weren’t born this way.  They learned this behavior.  It will take quite a game plan and many seasons to re-train them.