By Joan Lynch for Northeastern Magazine
In late 2015, after a series of appalling domestic violence cases throughout professional sports, Major League Baseball brought in Ricardhy Grandoit, CJ’09, MS’15, to implement the league’s new policy against sexual assault, child abuse, and domestic violence.
Grandoit was already well-known to MLB. Earlier in 2015 when he was program manager and lead trainer with Northeastern’s Center for the Study of Sport in Society, he helped design a curriculum for gender-based violence prevention workshops in a partnership with MLB.
Grandoit developed and implemented educational workshops for more than 5,000 major and minor league players, trainers, and staff. These programs include both treatment services and programs aimed at avoiding problems before they occur.
“We want to make sure prevention is top of mind,” says Grandoit, who commutes to Manhattan three days a week from his home in Arlington, Massachusetts. “We want everyone to know there’s a policy in place, there are consequences, and there are services to support victims, families, and players themselves when facing violence. We want players and staff to know that MLB cares about this issue.”
“WE’RE HERE TO SUPPORT, NOT TO POINT FINGERS.”
Now that the program has been implemented, he’s hosting train-the-trainer workshops, ensuring that the MLB-sanctioned vendors providing the workshops meet the rigorous standards for consistency and excellence.
Grandoit also paved the way for MLB’s new partnership with Northeastern to provide professional ball players with access to continuing education. He serves as the point of contact at the Commissioner of Baseball’s Office for the teams and the university and manages the day-to-day operations of the partnership.
Most recently, Grandoit has been overseeing a wide-ranging program for MLB at the team academies in the Dominican Republic that includes education about domestic violence, prohibited substances, sexual health, bullying and hazing, media relations, and cultural adjustments to playing in the U.S.
The goal of all MLB programs is to promote understanding and get ahead of these issues rather than to take on an accusatory tone.
“The programs are intended to help provide players with the information they need to be successful on and off the field,” says Grandoit, who met his wife, Elly, DPT’11, at Northeastern and whose mother-in-law is a professor at Bouvé College of Health Sciences. “We’re here to support, not to point fingers. Through these hosted workshops, we’ve gotten people off the defensive, which has allowed them to be more receptive to the messages.”