Letters to the Editor

12th Man should focus on real heroes

I have been amazed and somewhat disillusioned at the apparent worship of the Seattle Seahawks since their Super Bowl victory. It does cause me to wonder if those who create idols of NFL players read the news related to the NFL’s weak-kneed approach to the epidemic of brain injuries caused by concussions and lifetime disabilities caused by broken and torn bodies. I also wonder if these fans read the recent story in The New York Times regarding the obscene and brutish behavior of many players toward their teammates, displaying their apparent racial, gender, sexual and ethnic prejudices.

I certainly do not expect football players to serve as role models for our children, and I certainly do understand that not all NFL players are brutes. But I do think that we have created unreasonable popularity of a sport that is a tribute to human violence and brutish behavior. We are holding up an image to our children that many will follow to their own physical and/or psychological damage because they hope to realize fame and fortune as professional athletes.

Perhaps the 12th Man could spend this off-season paying equal tribute to the real heroes in our society: those who teach our children, those who care for our aging and disabled parents and grandparents, those who police our streets, those who fight the fires that would destroy our homes, those who maintain our state and national parks and, not least, those parents who just get up every day and try to teach their children not to do harm to one another or this planet we inhabit.

Perhaps the 12th Man could just cheer on the peacemakers and caretakers of the Earth with equal enthusiasm this off-season.

— Jeremy Sappington

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