Last season, domestic violence cast a dark shadow on the bright spotlight of the National Football League.
Like so many issues that plague society, it didn’t get enough attention — until it was thrust before us by means we could not longer ignore.
Speaking to attendees at the Blue Breakfast, Colts Vice Chairman and owner Carlie Irsay-Gordon said despite the hits to the league and its brand, she’s thankful we were forced to take something once discussed in dim corners with hushed tones and bring it out into broad daylight.
“Domestic violence extends far beyond the spotlight of the NFL and as much as we would like to individualize the issue to a dysfunctional relationship or the confines of someone else’s home, its effects and repercussions reverberate into our community in collective consciousness.”
For the eighth year, the Colts partnered with Coburn Place to serve as host for the Blue Breakfast, which raises money to assist victims and families of domestic violence.
Believe and achieve was this year’s theme, something guest speaker and Colts offensive lineman Joe Reitz knows something about.
“Sometimes it’s hard to see the light at the end of the tunnel. But when you do, there’s always great things to come out of it. The bigger the trial, the bigger the tribulation, the greater the reward at the end of the day.”
Reitz played basketball in college at Western Michigan before transitioning to football. He was signed by the Baltimore Ravens as an undrafted rookie in 2008 and in 2010, came home to Indianapolis to play for the Colts. He signed a three-year extension in the offseason. He also added to his family this offseason, when his wife gave birth to their third child, a daughter named Virginia. She joins a sister, Juliana and brother, A.J.
Playing in the NFL is an honor the Hamilton Southeastern graduate doesn’t take for granted, “It’s even more special for me because this is my hometown.” But football, says Reitz, is not his first priority.
“Our first and number one job is to be a great father, to be a good husband, to love your wife, to respect your wife, so that your kids see that growing up. They see that pattern of great behavior.”
Because charity starts at home.
And so does change.