Role Models

Role models lead by example

On the TunneySide of Sports October 16, 2017 #662 Up Next…Role Models

After further review…We all need role models. How vital are they in the world of sports and society? Can we shape our character without them? Can a nation develop its core values without them? What criteria is used to select the best role models? Be careful in your selection.

In my book ‘Impartial Judgment‘ I made the point: we all need role models, and I feel I had the best. First and foremost was my father whose behavior and achievements I always sought to emulate. He never lectured me but showed me with his demeanor, actions, and language (I never heard him swear) the proper way to conduct oneself. I will include my mother in that description as well. While she carried the responsibility to raise her four children as a stay-at-home mom, she was much more than that. She instilled in me the importance of respecting others and treating others with kindness. Indeed, I was fortunate.

The responsibility for being a role model is a natural one for parents and many meet it willingly and selflessly. But sadly, many don’t or seem to be unable to, resulting in a vacuum of guidance for far too many youths. When this occurs, young people will gravitate towards surrogate role models. They need not be from the same family, social background, religion or ethnicity. What is important is one’s personal integrity and dedication to the work required for success in one’s life’s pursuits. I was lucky to have the advice of many wise people who crossed my path.

When I meet Jack Roosevelt Robinson, commonly known as Jackie, at the age of nine, I was immediately aware of the value this man (though he was just 19) who was of a different color and from a different background. I remember reading the book titled ‘Reach: 40 Black Men Speak on Living, Leading, and Succeeding‘, written by my friend and former NCAAP president, Ben Jealous, that chronicled stories about black men, both famous and infamous, who overcame arduous backgrounds to succeed in today’s world. Did Jealous’ book apply to black men only? Absolutely not! Or to men only? It did not. The path to success is a universal one.

Behavior is the model, not ethnicity or gender. One does not need to follow an athlete or movie star simply because they are more visible in their screen persona. Each person needs to admire and follow those whose core values are in concert with his or her own.

Many athletes try to model proper behavior. Some of them will and some will not, but the important lesson is to define our role models based on their virtues, not their notoriety.

Will you select your role models based on the quality of acceptable behavior?

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To contact Jim, go to JimTunney.com or email Jim@JimTunney.com.

Jim’s books are full of inspiration and interesting stories. Please visit his online store to learn more.

Another 101 Best of TunneySide of Sports

Be sure to get Jim’s book ‘Another 101 Best of TunneySide of Sports’ by clicking this link or using the email above to contact Jim directly.

These TunneySides take issues from real-life situations and relate them as inspiration for the betterment of others.

Jim is available for speaking engagements on leadership and T*E*A*M Building. His books are available for $20 which includes shipping and tax. The Tunney Bobblehead is available for $30. Please visit JimTunney.com. Thank you!

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Out of Chaos

n the TunneySide of Sports October 9, 2017 #661 Up next…out of chaos
On the TUNNEYSIDE of SPORTS October 9, 2017, #661 Up next… “Out of chaos”

After further review…With the seasons beginning in the NBA as well as the NHL, and with the MLB playoffs underway, sports schedules are jammed. And let’s not forget the NCAA basketball scandal of fraud and deception in paying money and other improprieties to student-athletes under-the-table. Surely there will be many interesting, and hopefully, inspiring stories forthcoming from these sports.

In the meanwhile, it is the TunneySides’ hope that out of chaos comes order, regarding the issues in the NFL over civil rights injustices. Those injustices apply to everyone, not just one race. My role as an NFL referee for 31 years was to see that every game was played fairly with each player treated with equal respect. Sure, some players played more aggressively than others and required closer oversight. But never in those three decades, did I ever penalize a player due to his race or personal beliefs, and I’m sure my fellow officials didn’t either. That’s not being fair.

Let me also clarify an issue raised by some readers who replied to these columns regarding those who chose not to stand with their hand over their heart during the playing of our national anthem. Feelings about our country is a personal choice. Mine is that I am grateful to have been born in America and thankful to have lived here for eight decades.

Do I disagree with the racial injustice issues happening today? Of course, I do. Do I agree with some of the things that President Trump has said or done – or not done? Of course not. But then, I’ve had one or more issues with the other 15 presidents in my lifetime as well.

It has been my philosophy that when I disagree with a current issue – or in the case of a rule in the NFL – I attempt to change it through personal persuasion, not protests.

When I began my NFL officiating tenure in 1960, there were only a few African-American players. On one team there were none. There were some racial tensions during the games due to trash talking that occasionally morphed into pushing and fisticuffs. But sooner rather than later, players began to accept and respect each other based on talent and personality rather than race or ideology.

It is the hope here that today’s players will come together as a T*E*A*M, but deal with their personal concerns about injustices in their own manner off the field.

Will you continue to give your best effort to support players who work as a T*E*A*M?

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To contact Jim, go to JimTunney.com or email Jim@JimTunney.com.

Jim’s books are full of inspiration and interesting stories. Please visit his online store to learn more.

Another 101 Best of TunneySide of Sports

Be sure to get Jim’s book ‘Another 101 Best of TunneySide of Sports’ by clicking this link or using the email above to contact Jim directly.

These TunneySides take issues from real-life situations and relate them as inspiration for the betterment of others.

Jim is available for speaking engagements on leadership and T*E*A*M Building. His books are available for $20 which includes shipping and tax. The Tunney Bobblehead is available for $30. Please visit JimTunney.com. Thank you!

Posted in Current Affairs, Sports, Tunney Side of Sports Columns | Leave a comment

Duty, Honor, Country

On the TunneySide of Sports October 2, 2017 #660 Up next… “Duty, Honor, Country”
On the TUNNEYSIDE of SPORTS October 2, 2017, #660 Up next… “Duty, Honor, Country”

After further review…Those three words reverently dictate what you ought to be, what you want to be, what you can be, what you will be. They are your rallying point to build courage when your courage seems to fail, to regain faith when there seems to be little cause for faith, to create hope when hope seems to become forlorn. These words build your character. They mold you for your future roles as custodians of the nation’s defense. “They make you strong enough to know when you are weak, and brave enough to face yourself when you are weak” were the words of General Douglas MacArthur in a speech when he accepted the Thayer Award as an outstanding citizen of the United States.

While MacArthur’s speech was to the cadets at West Point, N.Y. on May 12, 1962, his words certainly seem appropriate today for all of us in the United States of America. Even though I was not in the military, I learned self-discipline from my father and in my physical education training from Dr. Carl Trieb at Occidental College. I wish that many others had grown-up with that kind of guidance. Indeed, I am fortunate. Which leads me to today’s important issues.

While this column has written several times before about the social injustice issue that Colin Kaepernick introduced some time back, the reaction by many, both pro and con, has exacerbated it beyond civility.

One of the tenets of the word “duty” is an individual’s responsibility to speak or react to issues with civilly. Fans attend games or watch on TV because they honor and respect players’ athletic abilities, not their politics. If you doubt that professional athletes serve as role models, check YouTube or social media to see examples of kids today kneeling during their youth sports games, not is prayer, but in defiance.

What really inflamed this issue was the egregious statement by POTUS. The abhorrent language he used has solidified teams to bind more closely together. If we, as Americans, truly believe in the first amendment which guarantees free speech, both Kap and POTUS have that right. However, in the case of the later “obscene” language is not permitted by this amendment.

Perhaps with almost every one of the 32 T*E*A*Ms discussing this and many rallying together, all players can move forward and actively do something in their own communities to create a positive climate.

Will you be part of efforts to create a positive climate in your community?

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To contact Jim, go to JimTunney.com or email Jim@JimTunney.com.

Jim’s books are full of inspiration and interesting stories. Please visit his online store to learn more.

Another 101 Best of TunneySide of Sports

Be sure to get Jim’s book ‘Another 101 Best of TunneySide of Sports’ by clicking this link or using the email above to contact Jim directly.

These TunneySides take issues from real-life situations and relate them as inspiration for the betterment of others.

Jim is available for speaking engagements on leadership and T*E*A*M Building. His books are available for $20 which includes shipping and tax. The Tunney Bobblehead is available for $30. Please visit JimTunney.com. Thank you!

Posted in Current Affairs, Sports, Tunney Side of Sports Columns | Leave a comment