An innovative campaign that’s rooted in research to help stop bullying before it starts.
People participate in sports for many reasons: Health, life skills, connections with others, and even simply a love for their sport. Nobody joins a team to be bullied, yet it is far too common in sports.
According to Childhelp.org (https://www.childhelp.org/blog/bullying-in-sports):
- 40-50% of athletes have experienced anything from mild harassment to severe abuse in their sport of choice;
- 4% of young athletes reported that a coach had hit, kicked, or slapped them;
- 8% of coaches acknowledged encouraging athletes to hurt opponents, 33% yelled at players for making mistakes, and 20% made fun of a team member with limited skills.
These statistics are sobering and show a need for coaches, teams, and athletes everywhere to join together and prevent bullying!
At any level of sport, athletes should have fun while doing their best, which doesn’t happen when they are bullied. Preventing bullying from #Day1 is not only good for athletes, but also for the whole team.
Our #Day1 sports toolkit addresses the issues teams face. It includes simple, research-based steps that can promote good sportsmanship and bring out the Upstander in all of us.
So let today be #Day1 to create a safe inclusive environment that is accepting of diversity, and free of hostility and bullying behavior.
All you need to do to get started is …..
Review the below #Day1 Declaration for Sports teams.
Then simply complete the form below to receive a pdf version of the #Day1 Declaration.
Rehearse the #Day1 declaration before presenting to your team.
Read the Declaration on #Day1 of your team meeting together or on #Day1 of a new beginning when you want to put an end to bullying behavior and begin on a new journey of acceptance, compassion and respect.
Be sure to personalize the declaration with the name of your team in the appropriate spaces.
Receive a verbal acknowledgment of agreement from the members of your team that they will adhere to the declaration.
Once you have created a safe respectful community, encourage each member of your team to become Upstanders. Pass out copies of the Upstander Pledge or visit tylerclementi.org/pledge. Read the pledge aloud together. Discuss what it means to them and answer any questions. Then have each team member sign the Upstander Pledge, either on the paper or directly on the website, whichever works best for you.
Reading the declaration is not a one-and-done situation. But rather it is a baseline for a constant conversation that will be continued throughout the entire season and again the following season. To assist in these conversations an optional element we suggest is to add a visual component to support Upstander behavior. It might be some type of artwork or illustration, such as the Upstander Pledge or #Day1, hanging in a mutual space, such as in a gym or workout room, or possibly Upstander wristbands for your team to wear, or a patch to attach to your uniform. This visual reminder will help everyone to remember that this is a safe respectful space for everyone, and bullying behavior will not be tolerated here.
On the (name of the team), we take it seriously that everyone is treated with dignity and respect. We are committed to an environment that is safe and respectful for all.
I want to make a statement about our expectations for all the members of (name of the team). We all have had times when we have said or done hurtful things to others out of thoughtlessness, lack of awareness, or because it seems like just a joke. We all may be tempted at times to treat other people poorly out of frustration, retaliation, because others are doing it, or because someone acts in a way that we don’t like.
But as a member of the (name of the team) we ask that you demonstrate self-awareness, respect, restraint, and self-control. Your comments, whether online or in-person, could be damaging to someone’s feelings of safety, belonging, connection, and emotional well-being. It also damages our team and our ability to work together. This is not acceptable.
So, let me be clear. Any act of harassment, humiliation, hazing, or bullying against another person, coach, player, staff, official, or supporter, online or in person, for us or opposing us, is against our values. Specifically, harassment based on race, ethnicity, nationality, gender expression, sexual orientation, body shape or size, or physical, mental or learning ability, financial position, religion or lack of religion, or political beliefs is taken very seriously here.
We will not tolerate bullying, harassment, or humiliation of any kind on the (name of the team).
We also want to make it clear that, win or lose, we expect good sportsmanship.
It is every single person’s responsibility to ensure this team continues to be a safe and welcoming environment for all.
We ask you to: think about your actions and how you want to be treated by others.
Here on the (name of the team), we expect you to do your best to demonstrate respect, understanding, empathy, and kindness to everyone.
If you see someone doing harm to another person, do something. Report it. If you feel safe, try to stop it. Joining in or doing nothing is not being respectful or kind. If you feel like going the extra step, reach out to the person who was targeted with a kind word or gesture. You might just have a huge impact on someone’s life.
We all make mistakes. If someone says or does something that seems rude or hurtful, speak up firmly and respectfully. For example: “That kind of language is against our team’s values. Please stop.”
Get help from a member of the athletic staff if the person doesn’t listen. If someone tells you that something you said or did was hurtful or disrespectful, make sure to listen, apologize, and make a commitment to educate yourself about your actions. If the person doesn’t listen, get help from a member of the athletic staff. If one staff member doesn’t help you, keep asking until someone addresses the problem.
Now I want to ask, does everyone understand what I have said and what we expect of you here on the (name of the team)?
I pledge to not remain a passive bystander but rather be an active Upstander when I witness bullying behavior.
As an Upstander;
I will intervene whenever I see or hear anyone being targeted with bullying behavior; whether I’m at school, at home, at work, or in my faith community; whether I am speaking in digital spaces or out in the real world with friends, family, colleagues or teammates.
- I will interrupt the bullying behavior if it feels safe to do so. I will intervene respectfully by saying: “please stop!”.
- I will report what I saw or heard to a trusted adult or person of authority. I will also encourage the person I saw being bullied to report it, too.
- I will reach out to the person who was targeted and let them know that bullying is never OK with me, and ask how I can help or assist them to get the help they need.
I will choose words and actions that show my respect, kindness, and compassion for all people and always make everyone feel included and safe.
I will not speak or act negatively about how another person is different from me; including their race, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, home language, body shape or size, skin color, ability level, or any other real or perceived difference. Instead, I will choose to learn about and celebrate what makes them unique, special, and precious. If I hear others speaking or acting negatively because of someone’s differences, I will choose to be an Upstander and speak up.
If I learn in person or online that someone is feeling seriously depressed or potentially suicidal, I will reach out and tell this person, “Your life has value and is important, no matter how you feel at the moment, and no matter what others say or think.” I will strongly encourage this person to get professional help.
I pledge to be an Upstander!
Download #Day1 Toolkit for Sports Teams
Can we count on you to implement #Day1 in your school? Please complete this form to receive your easy-to-use PDF copy of the #Day1 toolkit.