This week Rutgers Head Basketball Coach, Mike Rice was fired for the reported verbal and physical abuse of his players. Following the dismissal of Rice, Athletic Director Tim Pernetti resigns claiming that his departure is in the best interest of Rutgers University. As the scandal surrounding the university’s athletic department receives continuous coverage, the debate that stands is whether or not our society has become “too soft”. In other words, have we become too sensitive as a society that we fire leadership for instances formerly seen as a rite of passage?
Here is where I stand: I have seen the video many times, I have listened to contrasting voices of various networks and read different sources and opinion columns. This sort of instance will always resonate deeply within me because of my dedication to bullying prevention. Now- as a society we have become too religiously sensitive and culturally apologetic. But this- is absolute bullying. As an adult and mentor to these young men- it is certainly appropriate to yell, get riled up and challenge them to help them become the strongest athletes they can possibly be. The offensive and derogatory statements that Rice intentionally and repeatedly yelled at his players is atrocious and uncalled for. He absolutely deserved to be fired and receive the negative publicity he has been the center of for the past week. The Athletic Director, Tim Pernetti resigning is questionable to me, however. Although he says there was previous attention called to Rice’s actions that he was made aware of by Rutgers University, it seems odd that he would give up a position that easily. Something tells me he was either a participant in the horrendous behavior or there are other motives behind it….only time will tell.
The USA Today published a good, informative article regarding this: http://www.usatoday.com/story/sports/ncaab/2013/04/05/ad-tim-pernetti-out-at-rutgers-after-mike-rice-firing/2056119/
On to the same-sex marriage issue. I will once and for all say that I support gay marriage. I am conservative, yes. I am also Christian who believes in and takes very seriously the sanctity of marriage. What I don’t understand is the faction of the population who use and only use the Bible as a basis of opposing same-sex marriage. The only real reason I have ever thought otherwise is that same sex couples cannot pro-create. BUT- wake up people. We live in the 21st century and many have realized that being homosexual 1. Is not a choice, people are born that way 2. There are ways (adoption, surrogate, etc.) for gay couples to have children AND be wonderful parents 3. So what if certain people don’t even know what their sexuality is? In our society, we have generated so many stereotypes and unnecessary pressures we feel obligated to succumb to. Sexuality is particularly sensitive because it involves love, partnership and regardless of whether you are religious or not: spirituality. Again, although I am conservative- I applaud Sen. Bill Nelson (D-FL) for standing up and expressing his support for gay marriage this week. He is a prime example of positively altering perspectives.
I think what people need to realize is there are fundamental beliefs we may have that will change at particular points in our lives. Who is to say that Hilary Clinton might switch over to the Republican Party (probably not a chance in hell, but you get the point). Politicians and our nation’s leadership can have a change of heart and alter their political views any time they well choose, but of course it becomes more complicated with lobbyists, Super PAC’s, and constituents who you were elected to serve. The point is, it is NORMAL to question and reevaluate your beliefs- it is not normal to say that you never have and never will: bottom line.