Men & Boys Cry Too

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The NFL has taken a lot of (deserved) hits lately. The league’s questionable handling of some of its players’ unquestionably bad behavior have left many wondering if the NFL, football and professional sports don’t contribute to a culture of toxic masculinity – a one-sided, tough-guy version of manliness that sometimes spawns ideas of male entitlement and acts of violence.And let’s face it: in recent years, sports have been linked to some pretty unsavory events. (Think Penn State, the Steubenville rape and Ray Rice.)

That fact, some say, make sports a perfect tool to advance discussions of masculinity.

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Which makes this video, a post-game interview with NFL player & new father T.Y. Hilton all the more awesome:

Did you see that? Not only did T.Y get emotional, but two separate NFL analysts and commentators affirmed his tears and emotions on live TV on Sunday afternoon.

When T.Y. started choking up, his male interviewer told him:

Don’t be afraid to cry. I cried when my babies were born too. 

When they cut to the studio after the interview, Bill Cowher said:

It’s very refreshing to see a young man display his emotions.

 

T.Y. cried, while two other men very publicly affirmed his tears — on a Sunday afternoon, when men and boys of all ages are gathered around their TVs. 

No one shamed him for his tears. 

No one told him to “man up” or “get it together.”

 

They didn’t even ignore his tears. Instead, they publicly affirmed his right to cry, and in doing so, they let other men and boys know that it’s OK to cry.

 

Yesterday, during What Makes a Man 2014, a two day event designed to explore how idea of manhood affect everyday life, speaker Jeff Perra said, “We may not tell our kids, ‘be a man!’ But do we say, ‘It’s OK to cry?”
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Today, the answer is yes.

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