Posts Tagged ‘sports bullying’
Thursday, March 13th, 2014
Kelly Greenberg has been coach of the women’s basketball team at Boston University for 10 years, and at the University of Pennsylvania and Holy Cross for a total of 12 years before that. Her style has been described as “difficult,” and bullying by the Boston Globe.
This season, four scholarship players walked away from the team, tired of the emotional abuse Greenberg directed at them. Without scholarships that BU might take back, staying in school there is an expensive proposition. From the Globe article, here are some statements by the women players.
“I arrived feeling very confident and motivated. Then I felt bullied, threatened, and emotionally abused by the coach. By the time I left, she had demolished me as a person. She didn’t treat us like human beings at all” … Dana Theobald
“I discovered that when you play for Coach Greenberg, you don’t play the game you love. You play her game, an emotional game that is not about basketball.” … Melissa Gallo
And from the student who was taken to hospital when suicide was contemplated
“Basketball is a contact sport. We have all played for tough coaches. But I went to BU because I believed [Greenberg] was a great coach, and I was shocked by how it turned out. It was very scary. I was blaming everything on myself because of the way I had been treated. I knew deep inside that it wasn’t me, but I was too afraid to say it was [Greenberg] because she didn’t make me feel supported. Giving up a $60,000-a-year scholarship is the hardest thing I’ve ever done. I hate that I’m not in school, but it had to be done. My spirit was broken.” … Dionna Joynes
These comments are completely consistent with the experiences of bullied targets. The bullying was not about the sport of basketball (the equivalent of work-related tasks) but about Greenberg’s volatile emotionality. Finally, illustrating the perfect fit with the phenomenon of bullying, the targets lost their jobs (the sport) they loved because they were involuntarily emotionally abused.
It seems coach Greenberg had trouble with players who were injured. She assaulted them as “selfish” after suffering a concussion or ankle injury.
When two players quit previously and the university conducted its “investigation,” Greenberg was made aware that she is difficult and that she had made regrettable mistakes.
Let’s see if BU renews Greenberg’s contract. Read the full story in the Globe.
Tags: Boston University, coach bullying, Dionna Joynes, emotional abuse, Kelly Greenberg, sports bullying, suicide, woman-on-woman, workplace bullying
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