Friday, April 13, 2007

Rutgers, Imus, Sharpton etc. 

As many of you know, I follow the women's basketball program at the University of Minnesota. I was a pre-Title IX athlete so I understand what it takes to get to an elite level (note, I was very good but not elite). Up front, I want to say I totally disagree with what Imus said about the Rutgers women's basketball team.

One of the key benefits of participating in sports is the development of justifiable self confidence based on measurable objectives. By any standard, the women of Rutgers basketball team achieved much. Reaching the final game of the NCAA tournament is a remarkable feat. They have every right to be proud of what they accomplished.

They are justifiably angry in rejecting the false labels Imus put on them. At the core of their response to Imus was this message: "I am who and what I am, not what you say I am."

The Al Sharptons of the world are also trying to pin a false label on them: helpless victim. His actions are every bit as detrimental as those by Imus. Their response to Sharpton should be the same as their response to Imus: "I am who and what I am, not what you say I am."

The talent, dignity and class the Rutgers women showed in their NCAA run are the same characteristics they need to draw on during the current media circus.

Ladies, you are superb athletes. What you are learning bodes well for you for your entire life. Relish in your achievements! Ignore all those who will try to put a label on you. You are first class. Congratulations on your successes! Now, move forward and play even better and harder next year!