Today's Paper Search Latest stories Traffic #Gazette200 Listen Digital Replica FAQs Weather Newsletters Most commented Obits Puzzles + Games Archive
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT

I go to Newark a lot for work and often pass by the Prudential Center where there is a big statue of Martin Brodeur, legendary star of the Jersey Devils hockey team. Being a lifelong Flyers fan, I would never miss the opportunity to stick my tongue out, or do any of those juvenile things that make life enjoyable at 57.

Recently, though, I made a point of taking my picture in front of Brodeur's statue and then put it on Facebook with the caption: "My new team #BringBackKate." I know this had little impact in the ongoing conversation around the Flyers removal of singer Kate Smith's statue after concerns about some of her lyrics. But it made me feel good, and was an indication of how I've evolved from a girl who loved her sports teams with unquestioning devotion. Because of the Kate Smith debacle, I no longer support the Flyers.

I've also stopped supporting the Sixers, whose co-owner Michael Rubin has befriended rapper Meek Mill. Rubin and Mill have set out to reform the criminal justice system in Philadelphia. I don't deny that it needs reforming.

But Mill isn't some random kid who was crushed by a cruel system. He was convicted of drug and weapons charges, and then proceeded to violate probation regularly over a period of 10 years.

As recently as a few weeks ago, Rubin used social media to attack Judge Genece Brinkley--who sentenced Mill to prison--because she wouldn't allow Mill to attend a Sixers playoff game in Toronto. He called her "obsessed" with Mill. The only obsession I saw was on the part of Rubin and Mill, who think that rules should be bent for artists with felony convictions.

Boy, do I miss the days when I didn't know what political party my favorite players belonged to, or whether they liked the current occupant of the White House, or their sexual orientation, or their immigration status, or any of the other things that have nothing whatsoever to do with the beauty of their respective games.

Jackie Robinson was heroic. So was Jesse Owens. And Althea Gibson. And Arthur Ashe. And Martina Navratilova. But the difference between those athletes and the current crop of social justice warriors/players is that the heroes from the past broke social barriers and worked toward a more perfect justice by being the best they could be in their fields. They did it with courage and dignity--not with outrage, accusation, and obscene lyrics.

A week or so ago, Gino Marchetti died. When I was born in Baltimore in 1961, he was a football god, leading the Colts to championships. He later became known as the guy who gave us the Gino Giant burger, a fond memory from my Logan childhood. It may seem trite, but I miss the days when the most controversial thing about a player was that he peddled cholesterol-filled meat products.

Editorial on 05/11/2019

Print Headline: Philadelphia freedom

ADVERTISEMENT

Sponsor Content

You must be signed in to post comments

Comments

ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT