Posted on March 15, 2013 at 10:06 AM
Friday, Mar 15 at 10:31 AM
CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- A call to end violence against women brought coaches from all across North and South Carolina to a conference Thursday morning.
Panthers coach Ron Rivera was among those in attendance and who spoke on a panel.
"This is happening right now today, there's three women in the United States murdered every day by their intimate partner," said Ted Bunch, co-founder of ‘A Call to Men’.
It’s a scary statistic that's brought hundreds of coaches and students from across North and South Carolina together including Panthers head coach Ron Rivera.
"Really it's about we as coaches are the right types of mentors right types of role models for our youth today," said Rivera.
Rivera faced the reality of domestic violence head on when the Panthers had to play the Kansas City Chiefs right after linebacker Jovan Belcher shot and killed his girlfriend and then himself.
"It was a very solemn situation, I had to get in front of players and explain to them the situation and it took the wind out of the room and it was very hard for our players to bounce back because it was such a real thing," said Rivera.
Which is why the group, A Call to Men, is hoping to reach young men before this type of tragedy and they believe through coaches and sports they can reach them.
"As they're developing their talent skills and abilities on the field, on the court, whatever their sport is we want them to also develop emotionally, " said Bunch.
Central Cabarrus High School football coach Donnie Kiefer says that's why he came to the conference to learn how to guide the young men not only on the field but off as well.
"How do you treat the women in your lives, are they just objects to you or is it just another part of the game you’re playing, we want them to be men of integrity so to me this conference is vital," said Kiefer.