|Watch What You Say|
Now, I'm not going to give you my own personal take on the Connecticut tragedy; that's already been done on Friday, and in July, and there isn't very much more to say about it. We're the only First World country that seems to think that the recreational habits of a minority, and the outdated idea that citizens in a modern age can overthrow a tyrannical government via commercially available weapons, is worth the majority of the world's mass slayings. But the nice thing about events like this is that they just calcify the current positions of everyone with an emotional stake in the game.
Rather, I'd like to talk about the fairly curious point of who gets to have an opinion, and when.
Athletes are allowed to have opinions on trivial things like movies or music, but when they move towards anything political, the backlash is severe... and to be candid, I've engaged in it myself. Mostly because I don't even want to hear the opinions of an athlete on anything; it's just likely to ruin things, really. But it's telling, and by telling I mean screaming, that the athletes are being treated like children. Cute when they talk about trivial things, maddening when they speak beyond their ken.
Which leads us to the next possible target on the chain of command -- the people who report on the athletes. What's telling here is that despite being decades older, generally more educated, and skilled enough to stay in front of a microphone for money for a long time, they get the same level of derision when they go off the reservation. And for the most part, I'm completely OK with that, because when they do this in the course of a game, they are putting soy sauce in milk...
But, um, who, exactly, *is* qualified to speak on these things?
Maybe the parents of the slain. Or a psychologist, or a psychiatrist, or a social scientist.
Who don't exactly draw ratings, or notice. So we don't really mind, or remember, anything they say.
Or everybody, since the people telling the other people to shut up are usually no more qualified than the athlete, or the sports reporter...