Violent NFL play leads to teachable moment

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Head Coach Latrice Crawford talks to her Purdue Polytechnic High School basketball team during a practice.

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — There’s a teachable moment for teens after one of the ugliest moments in NFL history, but it’s also something younger children and adults could learn from, too.

It’s a play that no one has seen before — so egregious that coaches on all levels and all sports can’t overlook it.

It happened at the end of Thursday night’s game between the Cleveland Browns and Pittsburgh Steelers. It was an act more resembling a crime than a sport.

Browns star defensive player Myles Garrett taking the quarterback’s helmet from the Steelers and slamming him on the head with it.

“This is something none of us had ever seen to this extreme in a fight on a football field,” Colts Head Coach Frank Reich said.

Latrice Crawford is the head basketball coach at Purdue Polytechnic High School. “I actually couldn’t believe it,” she said. “It should never get to that place.”

Crawford’s practice Friday evening with the girls teams is focused on the fundamentals of defense. But even more fundamental is coaching her team on sportsmanship, character and handling adversity.

“It starts here, right here in practice,” she said.

Not just on the court but in life too, thanks in part to her other job as college and career coordinator at the school.

“Every day I’m always reminding them, any moment that is a teachable moment I’m there to say, ‘Hey, this is why you can’t do this.'”

Crawford adds that sometimes girls on the team will know opposing players and have problems with them.

Her reminder is there’s no room on the court or team for that.

Coach Reich agreed, telling reporters what happened Thursday won’t be ignored by his team.

“At some point, we have to talk about that kind of thing as a team. That was bad,” he said.

It won’t be ignored by Crawford either.

“I absolutely will show it to them,” she said. “When whatever penalty is imposed on this athlete, I also want to revisit it and say ‘Look what happened to this guy as a result of what happened in a split second that got out of control.'”

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