“I’m still working to become a full human being who is in tune with his emotions and who can communicate with his wife when he’s angry.”
Derek McCoy, a former CU football player and Denver Broncos player says boys and young men can get a lot of benefit in participating in sports, however, he cautions that the culture around football reinforces male stereotypes of masculinity. He said playing football limited his ability to develop his emotional skills “when I stopped playing sports it was like this huge part of my life was over and it really dominated part of my life. Who I was after I finished playing was a partial human being and I’m still working to become a full human being who is in tune with his emotions and who can communicate with his wife when he’s angry.”
McCoy says there is a differing impact of the male stereotype on different communities. “When living up to the male stereotype, boys in communities of color where adult male presence is lacking are less likely to develop the same filters around authority as their white counterparts who are taught the same narrative about masculinity, but with a filter for authority. Thus, white males portraying hyper-masculine mentalities and behaviors are more likely to land in positions of power as adults (i.e. Donald Trump) versus the black population comprising 14% of our population and 60% of our prison population.”
McCoy now works to educate young people around the impact of relationship violence with the Denver based group Project Pave. He will be speaking at a community forum on challenging masculine stereotypes, following the screening of the documentary The Mask You Live In, at Boulder High on Tuesday February 16th at 7pm.