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