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Activist Brenda Tracy reacts to talk with Michigan Football program

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Maize n Brew spoke with Tracy, who shared what her experience with the Michigan team was like

The Michigan Wolverines football program kicked off their August camp activities by speaking and listening to Brenda Tracy.

Tracy is a rape survivor, speaker, and activist trying to combat sexual and physical violence by supporting coaches and young men through outreach and engagement. Her program is called #SetTheExpectation

Maize n Brew spoke with Tracy, who was pleased by how receptive the team was when it came to her message.

“They were incredible. It was overwhelming in a good way,” Tracy said. “So many guys came down and gave me hugs and talked to me and thanked me. Many of them said it was the most impactful session they had ever had while there.”

Tracy also commented on coach Jim Harbaugh, and how he listened to her ideas. “I appreciated the time Coach Harbaugh spent with me. You could tell he understood my vision and my hope for the future. He was receptive to my ideas and he was open to learning from me. That meant a lot to me.”

When asked what moments Tracy will remember the most she said “The moments after my talk when the coaches and players came up to me and shared some of their own stories and thanked me. Those are meaningful moments for me. Sometimes we forget that these young men have their own pain and experiences that they’re dealing with. It’s an honor to bear witness to them. In our society it’s not ‘cool’ for guys to be vulnerable or to ‘talk about their problems’. Society expects them to be strong football players all the time. My hope is to change that dynamic.”

After the event, players and coaches shared their experiences: