filed in Monthly on Aug.27, 2010
What emotions or images does your mind conjure up when you think about the Super Bowl? Perhaps you think about conquest, athletic prowess or the enactment of traditional gender roles. What perhaps is not at the forefront of your mind is affection, care and fatherhood.
This year the Super Bowl’s most valuable player, Drew Brees did something that put a nation to tears. As the nation was looking at him and applauding him for his achievement, he was sharing a private moment with his one-year-old son, seemingly unconcerned with the outside world beyond their father son interaction.
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This moment in time evokes questions around masculinity: what does it mean to be a “real man” what behaviors, attitudes and responsibilities do we ascribe to that? How was this moment different from other great Super Bowl moments? And with the largest television audience in history, what new messages was this sending about professional male athletes?
What are athlete’s responsibilities to our community in their positions as role models? How can this platform be used to create healthy, sustainable communities?