Brenda Tracy Wiki, Wikipedia, Activist Age, Michigan State, Net Worth, Oregon, MSU Football, Survivor
Brenda Tracy Wiki, Wikipedia, Activist Age, Michigan State, Net Worth, Oregon, MSU Football, Survivor – Brenda Tracy’s life took a tragic turn when she became the victim of sexual assault by four football players in Corvallis, Oregon, in 1998. Her story is not just one of survival but also of inspiring change. Over the years, Brenda has used her experience to raise awareness about campus sexual assault and promote a culture of responsibility among student-athletes. This article delves into Brenda Tracy’s personal journey, her mission to make a difference, and her impact on college campuses, particularly at the University of Michigan.
Brenda Tracy’s Early Life and Career
Before we explore Brenda Tracy’s advocacy work, it’s important to understand her background. Brenda was a 24-year-old woman when the traumatic incident occurred in 1998. While the evidence against her assailants was strong, Brenda chose not to pursue legal charges. Two of the Oregon State football players involved received only a one-game suspension, a decision that shocked many.
For years, Brenda kept her story hidden, but in 2014, she decided to break her silence. She shared her harrowing ordeal with the public through an OregonLive.com article. This marked the beginning of her journey as an advocate against sexual assault and an agent of change in the world of college athletics.
Speaking Out and Inspiring Change
Since 2016, Brenda Tracy has been on a mission to raise awareness about campus sexual assault. She has toured college campuses across the United States, sharing her story with student-athletes in the hope of inspiring change. Her talks are not easy; she describes in vivid detail the horrors of her assault, leaving everyone in the room uncomfortable. However, Brenda believes that sharing these painful experiences is essential to humanize the issue of sexual assault.
Her message goes beyond just discussing rape; she addresses related topics such as domestic violence, depression, and suicide. Brenda emphasizes that student-athletes are not the problem but the solution to these issues. She encourages them to take responsibility for their actions and be a force for positive change.
One of her most impactful visits was to the Michigan football team. After an introduction by head coach Jim Harbaugh, Brenda stood in front of a room filled with over 100 men, including players and coaches. She shared her story in graphic detail and made it clear that her goal was to humanize the issue of sexual assault. After her talk, the Wolverines showed their appreciation with hugs, thank-yous, and by sharing their own personal stories.
Jim Harbaugh, his coaching staff, and the players made Brenda’s visit to Michigan a resounding success. Harbaugh praised her courage on his podcast, emphasizing the remarkable nature of her story and the positive impact she’s had. Brenda’s visit to Michigan was a ray of hope after a challenging week, which had included speaking at Ohio State just as the news of domestic violence incidents involving an Ohio State assistant football coach was breaking.
Advocating for Change and Overcoming Challenges
Brenda Tracy’s advocacy work hasn’t been without its share of challenges. She’s faced criticism and negativity from some fan bases and the media. However, she remains undeterred in her mission to make a difference. When faced with controversy, she speaks her mind, as she did regarding Ohio State assistant football coach Zach Smith’s firing due to domestic violence incidents.
Brenda believes that individuals in positions of authority, such as coaches, are mandatory reporters of abuse. She stresses that reporting abuse should not require a criminal conviction; it’s about doing the right thing when there’s suspicion or evidence of wrongdoing.
Her visit to Michigan, despite being scheduled well in advance, was met with skepticism from some fans who assumed it was a publicity stunt. Brenda arrived in Ann Arbor feeling uncertain but left with renewed hope, inspired by the players and coaching staff who genuinely wanted to make a difference.
A Beacon of Hope in College Athletics
Brenda Tracy’s impact extends beyond individual schools. She has been a part of the NCAA’s Commission to Combat Campus Sexual Violence since its establishment in 2016. While she pushed for attaching eligibility to behavior, the commission didn’t take that step. However, Brenda continues to work with individual schools and conferences, advocating for policies like the “Serious Misconduct Rule” adopted by the Big Sky Conference.
This rule, effective from the 2019-20 academic year, prevents current or prospective student-athletes from playing or receiving financial aid if they have been convicted of or pled guilty or no contest to certain crimes, including sexual violence, domestic violence, dating violence, stalking, and assaults involving deadly weapons or causing serious bodily injury.
Brenda believes that, just as athletes must meet academic eligibility requirements, they should also meet behavioral standards. Eligibility is a paramount concern for student-athletes, and Brenda argues that the same level of scrutiny should be applied to their behavior.
Brenda Tracy: Honorary Captain and Agent of Change
Two weeks after Brenda Tracy spoke to the Michigan football team, head coach Jim Harbaugh invited her to be an honorary captain for a game against Western Michigan. Brenda accepted the honor with enthusiasm, recognizing the opportunity to further her mission. While she didn’t know the specifics of her game day responsibilities, she was ready to contribute in any way she could.
Brenda Tracy’s impact on the team goes beyond her role as an honorary captain. She has inspired players like Grant Newsome, a former Michigan football player whose career was cut short due to injuries. After attending Brenda’s talk, Newsome added a reference to her nonprofit, Set the Expectation, to his Twitter bio.
Set the Expectation is a crucial part of Brenda’s advocacy work. The organization promotes positive role modeling among athletes and condemns harmful behaviors like sexual assault, domestic violence, bullying, and hazing. Those who sign the Set the Expectation pledge commit to being positive role models and to not engage in harmful behaviors. The consequences for violating this pledge are severe, including dismissal from the team.
Several teams, including the Stanford football team and the Penn State men’s basketball team, have signed the pledge. The Michigan football team also has access to it, although Brenda acknowledges that not all programs are ready to make such a commitment. She believes in real change rather than mere PR efforts and is willing to work with schools genuinely interested in promoting a culture of responsibility.
Using Her Platform to Make a Difference
In light of being named an honorary captain for Michigan’s game, Brenda Tracy started a fundraiser for the SafeHouse Center in Ann Arbor. This organization provides support for individuals impacted by domestic violence or sexual assault. Their services include emergency shelter, counseling, legal advocacy, support groups, and hope. Brenda’s commitment to supporting organizations like SafeHouse Center demonstrates her dedication to making a tangible difference in the lives of survivors.
As Brenda Tracy walks onto the field as an honorary captain, alongside the team’s captains, moments before the opening kickoff in front of a crowd of more than 100,000 fans, she carries a message of hope and change. Despite the pageantry and passion that surround big-time college football programs, Brenda never forgets the disturbing statistics about sexual assault.
She knows that these young athletes are the most influential figures on their campuses and have the potential to make a significant impact. Brenda Tracy believes that they can use their platform to address the issue of sexual assault and create a culture of responsibility.
In conclusion, Brenda Tracy’s journey from a survivor of sexual assault to a passionate advocate for change is both inspiring and transformative.
What is the goal of Brenda Tracy’s talks with student-athletes?
Brenda Tracy’s talks aim to humanize the issue of sexual assault and related topics like domestic violence, depression, and suicide. She wants student-athletes to understand that they can be part of the solution by taking responsibility for their actions and being positive role models.
How did the Michigan football team respond to Brenda Tracy’s visit?
After Brenda Tracy’s talk to the Michigan football team, the players and coaching staff showed their appreciation by offering hugs, thank-yous, and sharing their own personal stories with her. Head coach Jim Harbaugh described her visit as an “amazing experience.”
What challenges has Brenda Tracy faced in her advocacy work?
Brenda Tracy has faced criticism and negativity from some fan bases and the media, especially when speaking out about controversial issues like the firing of an Ohio State assistant football coach involved in domestic violence incidents.
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