Athletes, coaches support stopping the hazing through the Positive Coaching Alliance


Regarding the Richie Incognito issue, here is “Today’s Take” from the Positive Coaching Alliance.

The firestorm around Richie Incognito, the Miami Dolphins offensive lineman accused of bullying teammate and fellow offensive lineman Jonathan Martin with racial slurs and threats of violence, raises the profile on hazing throughout sports.

Often passed off as a team-bonding exercise or a rite of initiation to ‘welcome’ new teammates, hazing is actually one of the most damaging experiences possible for a team, the players being hazed and even the hazers themselves.

As discussed in this recent Google+ Hangout, Phasing Out Hazing,, coaches and administrators should have a zero-tolerance policy.

Coaches can cultivate camaraderie by teaching teammates to respect each other as covered in this sample Honoring the Game script,, in which coaches emphasize ROOTS (respect for Rules, Opponents, Officials, Teammates and Self).

Hazing is so problematic at all levels of sports that PCA now offers an anti-hazing component within its workshops. Learn more about that training by clicking to request information from a PCA representative The training incorporates some of the video links below, featuring members of PCA’s National Advisory Board, as well as other prominent coaches and athletes.

Northwestern University Football Coach Pat Fitzgerald on Hazing

World Cup and Olympic soccer champion Brandi Chastain on How Hazing Harms Teams and Individuals

NFL Hall of Famer Steve Young on the Need to End Hazing

• Here are pointers from PCA Chief Impact Officer Tina Syer, who spearheaded development of PCA’s anti-hazing workshop components: “The strongest team leaders don't just refrain from hazing; they actually shut it down when they see it. It takes moral courage to intervene. Even if you were hazed, that does not mean you should continue this ‘tradition.’ Have the moral courage to break the cycle.”

•  About Positive Coaching Alliance

Since its founding within the Stanford University Athletic Department in 1998, Positive Coaching Alliance has helped develop “Better Athletes, Better People” primarily through live group workshops, online courses and books by PCA Founder Jim Thompson for youth and high school sports coaches, parents, student-athletes and school/organizational leaders. In partnership with nearly 2,000 schools and youth sports organizations nationwide, PCA has conducted more than 12,000 live group workshops and impacted more than 5 million youth.

PCA has the support of elite coaches and athletes on a National Advisory Board, including national spokesperson and 11-time NBA champion Coach Phil Jackson.


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