You Might Have Noticed These Ribbons During The ASU-Stanford Game On Saturday. Here's What They Mean.

"I hope the survivors everywhere are watching and seeing how loved they are."

The matchup between the Stanford Cardinal and the Arizona State University Sun Devils on Saturday is making headlines not for touchdowns or field goals but for much more important reasons. The two colleges partnered with Brenda Tracy, creator of the #SetTheExpectation pledge, to raise awareness about sexual assault on campuses.


Tracy — a member of the NCAA's Committee to Combat Sexual Violence — announced last week that this would be the first-ever #SetTheExpectation game, with Stanford hosting and ASU joining in to support the cause as well. To show solidarity, the athletes wore #SetTheExpectation branded T-shirts, sported a teal-and-purple ribbon on their helmets, and — most importantly — got a dialogue going about the cause Tracy is so passionate about.

"It's absolutely surreal for me. I am so grateful and so honored, and I hope the survivors everywhere are watching and seeing how loved they are," Tracy, who is a rape survivor herself, said in an interview with Pac-12 Network.

"My biggest message is that you're the solution, not the problem," Tracy continued. "We need to engage all of our good men in this effort, align themselves with women, and I believe we can change the epidemic of violence. This is one of the biggest issues on our campuses … [and] we absolutely should be doing this everywhere, at every school. This is something that should be happening every year everywhere. So I hope more people get on board."

ESPN's Jemele Hill said, in her opinion, this was the most important college football game of the weekend. She noted that she is the daughter of a rape survivor and that she had escaped an attempted rape herself "by the grace of God."

"I get frustrated with sexual assault conversations because most of them center around [telling] women how not to get raped," Hill said, before shifting the subject to Tracy. "Tracy started speaking to football programs across the country because, to paraphrase her, too many people viewed rape and sexual assault as crimes that happen in the abstract. Most of the young men she encounters have never spoken with a sexual assault survivor. Some have even cried after listening to her. She asks the players she talks to for a pledge to stand up against sexism and violence against women, and to only practice consensual sex. She wants their commitment to protecting women — not their sympathy."

Here's to hoping this is just one of many #SetTheExpectation games to come.


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