Count D'Brickashaw Ferguson as one of a growing number of NFL players who is taking a stand against domestic violence.
The longtime Jets left tackle will appear in a public service announcement for the “NO MORE” campaign designed to raise awareness of sexual assault and domestic violence. The PSA featuring Ferguson aired Thursday night during the Chargers-Broncos game.
Ferguson heard about the opportunity to get involved through the Jets' media relations department and jumped at the chance.
“It's something I wanted to do. It's showing awareness of sexual assault and domestic violence. I figured if I can do something, I should and I wanted to,” Ferguson told Metro.“I'm a husband; my wife is expecting. It's timely when I applied it. What if my wife was abused? What if my child was abused? The fact that we can bring awareness to what is happening behind closed doors — I think we can be a positive.”
Ferguson and his wife Kirsten are expecting their first child, a daughter, in March.
The PSA focuses not just on sports and domestic violence but “everywhere you go,” according to Ferguson.
The NFL has had its own issues with domestic violence over the past few years, most notably the Ray Rice incident, when the former Ravens running back knocked his then-fiancee unconscious in the elevator of a New Jersey casino.
In addition, Jets rookie wide receiver Quincy Enunwa was arrested earlier this year on domestic violence charges. Those charges were recently dropped.
Now in his ninth year in the league, Ferguson is hoping to raise not just awareness with the PSA but also accountability.
The three-time Pro Bowler doesn't see the domestic violence issues in the NFL as specific to the league or affecting only athletes.
“I think the world has a domestic violence problem. We're just trying to do our part in addressing it. There isn't a part that doesn't have an involvement in this issue,” Ferguson said. “It's across the world. There are actors doing this, athletes doing this. I think that's important for people to realize that these issues can touch everybody, they do touch everybody.I'm hoping that it will stop being an issue soon.”
The organization behind the PSA reached a national audience with a message of education and understanding.
“This new PSA is another example of how the NO MORE symbol and movement are galvanizing men to be part of the solution to domestic violence and sexual assault,” said Ted Bunch, the co-founder of A Call To Men, one of the many national organizations that is behind NO MORE.“Too often men are left out of the conversation about ending domestic and sexual violence but they have a critical role to play. As fathers, mentors, brothers and as friends, men have great power when it comes to changing the norms about what is acceptable behavior and what is not.”
Follow Jets beat writer KristianRDyer on Twitter @KristianRDyer.