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SU Football Great Don McPherson has New Book on Violence Against Women and Rethinking Masculinity

There’s a lot of attention on Syracuse Football this weekend with the big game against Clemson tomorrow.  One football star familiar to many SU fans is drawing attention in another arena.

Former SU Quarterback Don McPherson isn’t fighting for yards or touchdowns, he’s in the fight to reduce violence against women.  He just published a book, You Throw Like a Girl: The Blind Spot of Masculinity.

“You throw like a girl, it comes from an insult. I ask men, the worst insult you ever heard is a boy. It frames the issue of men's violence pretty simply, that we see women as less than, as the ultimate insult to a boy. What's changed for me in the last few years is because of male privilege …  this issue of men's violence against women, doesn’t affect us unless we want it to, unless we choose to be a part of the conversation. … Not having to address this big issue that impacts half our population has kept us as men from a conversation about ourselves.”

McPherson Book Signings Sat @ SU Book Store & Sun @ Barnes and Noble (See below)

He adds that ‘blind spot’ has limited men from having better relationships, and from raising boys to be healthy and whole. 

Don McPherson shares thoughts with WAER's Chris Bolt about the #MeToo movement; about talking with sports teams on difficult topics; and about personal loss that has forced reflection on life choices.

McPherson got a start speaking about social issues while an NFL and Canadian football player, around drunk driving.  After football he worked at Northeastern University studying Sport and Society, and talking to high school and college athletes.  He draws a link between his book and the Me Too movement that showed men that victims of violence were their mothers, sisters and spouses.  He argues we don’t have a choice but to teach a broader view of masculinity.


“So part of this is we don't have a choice and the world that our boys are going to grow up in is going to be very different than the world that we grew up in. And so if we're going to equip them to, to not just survive, but to thrive in the future, they're going to have to have a broader understanding of a global economy, in expanding markets, in a workplace that’s more diverse.  … we can no longer go back and just stick our head in the sand and be tough and strong and ignore all feelings. That's not going to fly in the future.”

McPherson will be singing his book, You Throw Like a Girl: The Blind Spot of Masculinity at the SU bookstore 1:00 to 2:00 p.m. Saturday and at Barnes and Noble Dewitt from 1:00 to 3:00 Sunday.

Chris Bolt, Ed.D. has proudly been covering the Central New York community and mentoring students for more than 30 years. His career in public media started as a student volunteer, then as a reporter/producer. He has been the news director for WAER since 1995. Dedicated to keeping local news coverage alive, Chris also has a passion for education, having trained, mentored and provided a platform for growth to more than a thousand students. Career highlights include having work appear on NPR, CBS, ABC and other news networks, winning numerous local and state journalism awards.