UK Happenings

McPherson Speaks Out Against Violence

LEXINGTON, Ky. (April 11, 2012) — “We don’t raise boys to be men, we raise them not to be women,” says Donald McPherson, college football Hall of Famer and Heisman Trophy runner-up.


The former all-American quarterback of the 1987 undefeated Syracuse University team will be at the University of Kentucky Thursday to discuss dating violence. His topic, “You Throw Like a Girl,” is directed primarily at men and focuses on language such as "you throw like a girl" that sets a standard on the narrow expectations of masculinity while simultaneously establishing an understanding that girls and women are "less than" men. His presentation will focus on nurturing positive language and understanding of masculine identity.

McPherson’s lecture and discussion, scheduled for 7 p.m. Thursday in Room 230 of the Student Center, is sponsored by the Violence and Intervention Center and the Martin Luther King Jr. Cultural Center with support from the UK Athletics Department, Office of Institutional Diversity, the Office of Residence Life, and the Division of Student Affairs.

“It is an honor to have Don McPherson coming to the University of Kentucky, as Don has translated his intensity and commitment to the game of football to his fight for an end to sexual assault and dating violence," said Billy Korinko, men’s programming specialist, VIP Center. "He has a keen understanding of his position as a vocal leader and takes a powerful platform engaging a wide number of men in the work to end violence.”  

“Don McPherson is a dynamic leader in the anti-violence movement who utilizes his experiences as a College Football Hall of Famer, Heisman Trophy runner-up, feminist, and anti-violence activist to create discussions around intersecting issues of racism, sexism, homophobia, and classism,” said Melanie Matson, director of the VIP Center. “He has a way of connecting with people at the heart and in the mind, challenging perceptions, and inciting activism.”

MEDIA CONTACT:  Gail Hairston, (859) 257-3302;