ProtectHer: Redefining #Manhood
The hottest topic in sports today isn’t Heisman hopefuls or the latest BCS rankings; unfortunately headlines are highlighting Ray Rice, sexual assault on campuses and at corporations, and other forms of domestic violence. While there is endless media attention about the problem, few people are discussing tangible solutions. In this incredibly important presentation, Alexis Jones starts what becomes an ongoing dialogue, asking young men the simple question, What kind of man will you choose to be? Having worked at ESPN and Fox Sports, Alexis speaks “dude” with exceptional ease. Based on her recent talk at NIKE to the top 18 high school quarterbacks in the country for ESPNU’s show “Elite 11,” Alexis goes much deeper than simply making audiences aware of the issues. Through tangible action steps and community building, Alexis shares how to be verbal, vulnerable, and honest – highlighting the fact that in order for men to respect women, men first have to respect themselves.
After being asked by ESPN to give a talk to the top 18 high school quarterbacks for a TV show called “Elite 11″ on a topic near and dear to her heart — the importance of respecting women — Alexis quickly set herself apart as the first female expert on men. Growing up with four older brothers in a state (Texas) where football is a religion, Alexis was not new to the power of sports and the influence of male athletes on their peers. Quickly after “Elite 11″ aired on ESPNU, Alexis was hired to speak in high school, college and professional locker rooms all over the country.
The ProtectHer campaign was created out of an urgency to address the ever-growing issue of domestic abuse and sexual assault on campuses. With Millennials consuming over ten hours of media a day, the hyper sexualization of girls and the aggressive and often violent behavior demonstrated towards women in media, significantly impacts a young man’s behavior and his definition of “manhood.” Understanding that athletes are the trendsetters for men, I focus on male athletes in order to broaden their definition of “manhood” and to remind them that they have an opportunity and an enormous responsibility to protect and respect the women in their lives. Having spent countless hours speaking to girls and in locker rooms with young men across the country, I have seen the profound affect this conversation has on their definition of self and the impact it has on their behavior towards female students.
Lex has most recently taken her ProtectHer campaign to campuses such as the University of Florida, the University of Washington, and Iowa State University.
“By rebranding what it means to be a man, I hope to empower male athletes to raise the bar for all men on campus to begin respecting and protecting their fellow female students.”
“Having Alexis come give her ProtectHer talk to our team was one of the best decisions we have made in the development of our young men into men of high character and integrity. She had our entire team engaged and they still talk about her message. Her powerful approach to sexual assault prevention made every one of our guys think about their role on our campus. She also does such a wonderful job at talking to the men about common core values of manhood that directly translate into how they perform on the field, in the classroom and how they interact with women. I’m extremely pleased with Alexis’ message and the talking points she gave myself and the coaching staff to continue to grow and develop men that this campus and community can be proud of.” – Jeff Choate (Head Coach Montana State University)
“I’ve never seen someone comminute to young men, especially on the topic of resecting women, the way Alexis does. Three years in a row, I’ve watched her blow the minds of our Elite 11 boys, and you can’t help but think, she is single handedly going to usher our country into an entirely new definition of manhood. The truth is, the sports world has never needed her so badly. She inspires men everywhere to move from being the problem to becoming the cure.” - Trent Dilfer (ESPN Commentator/ former NFL QB)
“Today more than ever, as a coach we have to teach our players more than just football. They have to understand that any decision they make, whether it be good or bad really matters and it affects so many people. We have to teach them about the important things in life and no one is doing a better job of that than Alexis Jones of ProtectHer. She talks about manhood in a new way that these players understand and she’s hands down, one of the best speakers I’ve ever brought into a locker room.” – Coach Charlie Strong (Former UT Football Coach)
“Alexis’ talk opened the eyes of every player in the room, and I believe her ProtectHer program has the ability to actually inspire real change in their behavior and in the culture of every locker room.” – Gary Patterson (TCU Football Coach)
“Alexis and I went to college together and it was then I told her ‘one day you’re going to take over the world.’ She is one of the most inspiring, motivating, beautiful people I have ever known. Her work ethic is second to none and it is because of that that she has made a tremendous difference in not only young females lives but also young males.” – Matt Leinart (Former NFL QB/ Fox Sports Commentator)
“Bringing in Alexis to share her ProtectHer program with our football team about the importance of respecting girls was one of the best decisions we’ve ever made for our players. Educating young men to be more respectful towards women isn’t an option and Alexis is leading that charge.” – Coach Barry Odom (University of Missouri Head Coach)
“Alexis is the most genuine and impactful person to ever speak to this group of young men. I would do anything to help her get her ProtectHer program into more locker rooms, because her message on the importance of respecting women has never been so necessary.”
– Coach Mora Head coach (UCLA Football Coach)
“Alexis is the only person a team should even consider bringing in on the topic of sexual assault; anyone else is a waste of a team’s time and budget. She’s inspiring guys to think differently and every school, every locker room needs her.” – Coach Pitino (Basketball Head Coach)
“It’s in every dad’s best interest that Alexis succeeds in implementing her ProtectHer program into every locker room across the country. As a former MLB player and father of girls, I’m hopeful for the future.” – Jerry Hairston Jr, (Former MLB player)
“Alexis Jones’ visit to Brunswick School left a lasting impact on our boys. She addressed the ever-growing and sensitive issue of domestic abuse and sexual assault on campuses nationwide — but did so in an engaging, interactive, and inspirational way. She didn’t preach. She had a conversation. Our boys walked away feeling empowered to encourage, inspire, and protect the girls in their lives — just as we all hoped they would.” – Tom Philip – Brunswick School Headmaster (Private High school Greenwich)
“I felt like Alexis killed it. She was able to come into the shark tank that is the football team and convey a very real and relatable message… She actually kept my attention for the duration of her presentation and it seemed I wasn’t the only one. Her presentation of both sides of the topic, both male and female contributions to the faults of social norms was also nice because it’s not just males and football players that are to blame. Her framing her own life experiences gave her message more creditability and it was nice to see someone who has led the life she leads is still human at the end of the day.” - Anonymous (College football player)
“I have a single mom, a girlfriend, and 4 sisters and it made me think about how I would want all of them to be treated and how I treat all of them and want to create a sense of worth and value that they deserve to have and give them a reason to have self confidence as well as self respect. I really enjoyed her and would love to have her back again anytime if possible to just talk with us some more and help build our culture.” – Anonymous (College football player)
“I thought it was a great message. Very eye opening to how media has sculpted our society. Just overall amazing speaker.”
– Anonymous (college football player)
“I thought it was a great presentation that really got the point across. The way she tied everything to football and relatable topics really helped everything hit home.”
-Anonymous (college basketball player)
*Above right: Lex with the University of Florida 2015 Men’s Basketball Team.