Rays hold domestic violence training/education seminar

All Major League teams to participate in program this spring

PORT CHARLOTTE, Fla. -- Tuesday morning, the Rays shut down the clubhouse early to facilitate a comprehensive domestic violence training/education program for 40-man roster players, coordinated by Futures Without Violence.

All Major League teams will complete the program in the first two weeks of Spring Training.

"They were saying that one in five women in the U.S. are sexually abused or are victims of domestic violence," David DeJesus said. "So it's an important issue and we need to bring it to the forefront.

"It's going on in this world, not just in baseball, it's happening every day. So just keeping aware, giving us things to think about when we're here, when we're at home, talking to our families. And I think communication is important. This is an issue that's going on. And I think that we, as a team, need to talk about it and bring it out. Because as men, we like to hide stuff sometimes. So we need to be open with each other."

Curt Casali noted that Major League Baseball's proactive approach was important, even if the sport has not had as many highly-visible cases of domestic violence as some of the other sports.

"You look at the NFL, NBA and other major professional sports that are dealing with it now," Casali said. "I think it's important we nip it in the bud. ... I think we're doing everything we can right now to build awareness of the issue and make sure we are handling it the right way when something like that comes to our attention."

DeJesus added that the people with whom a player -- or anybody else in society -- surrounds himself with is important.

"If you're hanging out with guys who have standards and stuff like that, you're going to be held to that and they're going to help you out," DeJesus said.

Bill Chastain is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.