October 15, 2014
Helplessness is a terrifying feeling.
It is the feeling many victims of hazing in sports often experience.
The feeling is compounded when 'friends' are inflicting the harm.
So why do teammates haze each other?
Often they do so because they too were once the victim of hazing.
Hazing is often generational -- passed down as a 'rite of passage' from one group in power to a younger, less powerful group.
How do we stop it?
Hazing often perpetuates because of a powerful psychological phenomenon called 'identification with the aggressor'.
Teammates are afraid to stand up to the bully because they are afraid of retaliation. After rationalizing it, they participate.
Breaking the cycle of hazing within sports takes courage.
It can be hard to speak up when teammates tell you to shut up.
If you witness hazing, tell a responsible adult who can intervene on behalf of the many silent voices that aren't able to speak up.