Co-Founder of A Call To Men
Ted Bunch is the co-founder of A Call to Men an organization which focuses on ending men's violence against women. A Call to Men has worked with the NFL, NBA, MLB and NHL to spread awareness of domestic abuse. Involved with the Ray Rice case in the NFL, Ted Bunch and A Call to Men advised the commissioner, Roger Goodell, on what course of action they should take. He recalls the case and more in my interview.
“To young people I would say follow your passion and be true to yourself” - Ted Bunch
“Every twelve seconds a man hits a woman” - Ted Bunch
Ted Bunch Talks Ray Rice
Can you describe when you worked with Ray Rice and his domestic violence case?
The commissioner initially gave Ray Rice the two game suspension and there was a tremendous outcry from the public because that wasn’t enough, and we felt that it wasn’t enough. So we brought in some other people like domestic violence advocates and domestic violence attorneys. We put a little team together to council the NFL and then they came out with a new rule where the first offense would be a six game suspension and then the second offense would be a life time ban.
Ray Rice has done everything he was asked to do. It was ultimately the commissioner's decision and if they would have asked him to do more games he would have done more games. As a result Ray hasn’t been able to play, again, in the league or brought back by a team since. A lot of people felt that Ray Rice was getting a shortcut in some way but he really wasn’t, it was a policy issue for the NFL and Ray Rice just happened to be the player in the middle of it all.
What were your personal thoughts about the incident?
Well there were a couple things, one was that - I was disappointed that as a society we don’t respond to domestic violence in a serious manner unless it is caught on video tape. Because if this wasn’t caught on video tape we wouldn’t be having this conversation. There are victims every twelve seconds (Canaan) it happens in the U.S where a person is hitting another person and most of the time it is a man hitting a woman. So most of the time it is very similar to what we saw on the video, and if it wasn’t for high profile athletes we wouldn’t be having this conversation and that was very disappointing.
The silver lining in all of it though was that because the decision was made where the punishment didn’t fit the crime, there was national outcry, and because of that it changed the entire dialogue of domestic violence and sexual assault and we are talking about it in a way now that we never had before and I am grateful for that, even though it was a tragic situation.