You may have noticed that the logos have changed once again on blogs all across SB Nation. We try not to get too 'issue-y' here at SLC Dunk. In the past, private groups have asked us to write or inform people about specific concepts, events, parties, or social organizations. And in the past we have shied away from taking a specific stand. After all, this is a Utah Jazz site. And in the past, we had to worry about the playoffs, how we were going to combat the Los Angeles Lakers and their length, and just when would "get it". But it's not the mid-2000s any more, and SB Nation felt like they could not possibly keep quiet about something this important. As a result, the logos have changed temporarily.
Sports has a way of bringing us together, and we're already a captive audience. This is partly what made those old 90s commercials using NBA players talking about social issues so effective. Like this one with Mark Eaton getting in our face about child abuse.
Why? Why does any of this matter? What is "It's on US?" Why can't we just talk about the Jazz here, and nothing else? Well, we usually do. But this is a "Week of Action" to raise awareness for It's On Us. The campaign exists to help raise awareness about sexual assault.
That's crime isn't likesmoking up in college. It's not the same thing as saying something stupid in front of a microphone or on twitter, like or some other NBA players. And it is a billion times worse than dying your hair blonde before training camp starts.
Sexual assault is 100% not okay. Men and women can be victims of it. It happens at the work place. It happens during leisure time. It happens with family. And it also happens in the sports world. In the past, professional athletes have been guilty of it. Some coaches have been guilty of it. Even fans have been guilty of it -- against their idols the players at times.
And none of it is cool. Today's college kids -- a growing majority of my audience here at The Dunk -- are really at risk. One in five women, and one in 16 men will be sexually assaulted during their four years in school.
A lot of the time people are too ashamed to even report it. Or the stigma is so bad that victims can't even tell their families or peer groups about it. This campaign exists because the crime exists. And it really is on us to help in any way possible to stomp this out.
I know that some of my readers here have been victims of sexual assault. I know at least one of the writers here has been a victim as well.
And the vast majority of the victims never get a positive resolution to it because the perps can easily blend into normal society because of the social mores, stigma, and general discomfort from bringing this subject up.
This is a sports blog. Not an ethics blog. Not a social awareness blog. And not a normative place for this type of dialog. But it's something that's important enough that I can't stand quietly by and not address. If not for any greater or lesser reason than the simply fact that "it's 2015."
My main readership (according to Google data and Alexa) are people who are either in college right now or are about to be in that age group. I want exactly ZERO of you to be victims of sexual assault. I also know that some of you will be placed in situations where you can PREVENT it from happening to someone else. It's up to you to either distract, defuse, or deliberately walk away from those situations.
By posting this non-basketball related blog post I'm diluting the content here at the blog. But I hope to also bring awareness to this issue. By not talking about it we're not making it go away. I don't know what effect, positive or negative, will occur by bringing it up. Furthermore, I can't protect the millions of readers we get on a one on one basis. But I can write this post to tell you that even if you are a male in your 20s, you still can be a victim of heterosexual sexual assault. And that can be psychologically damaging beyond what being a Jazz fan already is.
Take it from me.
And remember boys and girls, just because "you are not personally part of the problem" does not mean that "you do not have the power to be part of the solution".