Saturday, March 19, 2011

Japan, Tsunami, Athletes Who Talk Too Much

A lot has been written lately by better writers than myself about the insanity that's been going on in Japan so the the only thing that I'll add is how unbelievable it all is. The force that the tsunami hit with, how fast the water rose and all the damage it caused was bad enough but now with the damage to the nuclear reactors and their leaks/meltdowns is just so hard to believe. I can only pray and hope that the damage can be contained before too much more death and destruction is suffered.

Some things have been bothering me recently about sports figures in the United States and how they've been opening their mouths only to insert their feet in them. Too often they speak without thinking first or wrongly assume that because they have some level of success and then subsequently tons of attention given to them that it means that everybody else in the world should hear what they have to say. The following people were oh so wrong to assume that.

First is Adrian Peterson, one of the top running backs in the National Football League who made 3.64 million dollars last year and is scheduled to make 10.72 million dollars this year (providing there is a season) had this to say about the league's labor situation: "It's modern day slavery, you know? People kind of laugh at that, but there are people working at regular jobs who get treated the same way too. With all that money...the owners are trying to get a different percentage and bring in more money." So Adrian is saying that people working regular jobs get the same treatment as these star athletes do and that's the same as slavery. I'm wondering if this treatment that he receives, such as millions of dollars, endorsement deals, being catered to in every aspect of his life, is the same as people earning a low wage, being made to work extra hours just to scrape by and pay their bills without ever moving forward in their lives. Somehow it just doesn't seem the same to me.

A basketball player at Brigham Young University was removed from the team because he broke the schools honor code. Most colleges in America do not have an honor code and if they do it's usually ignored at best when it comes to athletes and their activities. However not at BYU. This is a private college that values their image of students who live a clean cut life. After this occurred professional basketball player Amare Stoudemire went to twitter to voice his displeasure. He railed against BYU saying "Don't ever go to BYU. They kick a young educated (black) brother OUT OF SCHOOL. The kid had premarital sex. Not suspended. Not release. Wow!" A second post said "P.S. With his girlfriend. Come on BYU don't kick the kid out of school. Let's be honest he is in college. Let the kid live a little." The only thing wrong with this is that BYU didn't kick the player out of school. They suspended him from the team and a disciplinary committee will meet later to determine in he will be kicked out of school or if other disciplinary action is warranted. BYU has strong religious beliefs and every student as well as every athlete recruited there, are made well aware of what they are. The athlete and regular students must abide by them in exactly the same manner and if they don't want to or don't think it's right then they have the choice to go to school elsewhere. They don't have to come to BYU. By the way, what does the honor code say at BYU? It requires students to be honest, live a chaste and virtuous life, use clean language, abstain from alcoholic beverages, tobacco, tea, coffee and illegal substances and attend church regularly IF they are a member of the church. These are the beliefs of the LDS church (BYU is run by the church) and what they expect of their members as well. If you don't abide by them all it's your personal choice and doesn't necessarily mean you will be kicked out of the church, especially if you aren't overt about it. But anything is possible. They just expect people in their church and those attending their college to try and live a better life. And if you don't like it you are free to live as you want just go to a different school. By the way Stoudemire, it didn't take you very long to play the race card, would you have been so interested if the player had been white? Or how about if it was just a regular student and not an athlete? Somehow I don't think so.

Lastly, a U.S. basketball player has been forced to apologize after her tasteless Twitter comments following the Japanese earthquake and tsunami. Cappie Pondexter who plays in the WNBA tweeted "What if God was tired of the way they treated their own people in there (sic) own country! Idk guys he makes no mistakes." "U just never knw! They did Pearl harbor so u can't expect anthing lss." After someone complained she asked them "r u jap?" as if that would matter. In her apology (and I use that term loosely) she said she didn't realize her words could be interpreted in the manner in which they were. How else could they be interpreted I ask? It's pretty clear what she meant. She isn't leaving a lot to the imagination. Then she goes on to say she's a spiritual person (clearly) and that even disasters happen for a reason and God's will shouldn't be questioned. Wow, what an apology. She did everything except well, apologize and even in this she had to be forced to do it. So let me get this straight, God decided over 68 years after Pearl Harbor was attacked that it was time for a little payback, a little revenge? And here I thought that perhaps having 2 ATOMIC BOMBS dropped on Japan was revenge enough. Apparently I was mistaken. The god I believe in doesn't deal in revenge or anything negative like that and lets us make our own choices so maybe her god and mine are different.

Everybody has a right to think and feel the way they want to no matter how strange or unpopular it is however they should at least put some thought into it before opening their mouths or else they can come off looking like an idiot. I know in this day and age of instant access it's easy to get inflamed about something and make an unresearched comment about it immediately but just remember that when you speak out of ignorance, is it any wonder that you end up sounding ignorant? That even applies to me making this post.

Published by Don Leach

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