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  • Reverend James Squire

Two Tiered Justice System aand What Athletes Should Know


The verdict is in, and Trump has been found guilty on all counts. We do have a two-tiered system as Trump was given much more leeway than someone who was poor, working class, person of color, or someone not a celebrity. It's classism, and it is tearing down our nation. He had every right to be cheerful and laughing with his entourage and lawyers as they waited for the verdict eating pizza. There was a lot of speculation as to what the verdict would be from dismissal to time in jail and everything in between. The smart money was not on him being guilty on all counts. For the first time in his life, he has been held accountable and not the Teflon Don with nothing sticking.


But there is something that all of us should be thinking about and that is our response to this historic news. The response outside the trial either welcomed the news or were angry of the final decision. Few have been lukewarm about the decision. People who waited outside had definite positions that he was wrong or right. You could tell by the cheers and jeers.


Trump’s sport was golf. He is on a course as quickly as he can get his cart warmed up, but as I have mentioned on other blogs, people who play golf with him indicate that he cheats. He wins every club championship when he opens a new course as well as any time after that when he plays because of his lack of honest action on most holes.


But there is a way that Trump was not a real athlete. “You are going to get tired of winning when I am elected President.” A coach would never say that to his or her players. Where you see the true athletes in action is how the players respond to winning and losing. Real athletes include those who know that they will some and lose sum.                                                                                                                      


It was Vince Lombardi who said, “When you go into the end zone act like you have been there before.” As sports go, so does our culture at one level. We now have theatrics galore in the rehearsed antics that are displayed when someone scores a touchdown. It’s a show. Athletes would know to temper their response when they won. We were taught to honor the opponent by shaking the hand of the players who competed. You did this before the game or match and certainly shaking the hand of the opponent who you have beaten and so the same goes for the losers. We couldn’t play the game without two teams willing to compete. Back in the day, people just wouldn’t be able to understand how far we have fallen with some of the words and actions of politicos as well.


It seems to me the greater the rivalry, the greater the respect the players demonstrate when they are the winner or the loser. There are the classics such as the Army vs. Navy women’s and men’s game, Princeton vs. Penn, our rivalry at EA against Agnes Erwin or the Haverford School or any interleague rival in any sport. We seem to need to follow the biblical mandate that to “to whom much has been given, much is expected.” Much given is the physical issues such as the physical ability to play the game in the first place.


Trump lost. Those who were against Trump won. There shouldn’t be a lot of booing and cries of foul during the process on the aftermath of the contests when you lose and when you win. Know how to be a good winner. 


Trump has been an example of being a bad winner and loser. For civility to be nourished in our culture, we can start by being the best of humankind considering one of the historic loses. The Army vs. Navy Football Game has always been the best example for me.  I think that part of what creates such sportsmanship after a hard-fought contest rests in the fact that they may be in battle next to one another in a foreign land. So, there is the clue that may be our road back to civility. Treat each person you encounter as thought your life may depend on them some day. Trumpism depends on dehumanizing others. What a great example for our young people to see how real ladies and gentlemen become examples of manners. “I pay attention to what someone does not what they say.”—Dr. Robert Coles, Harvard Professor of Ethics


“The idea that some people matter less is the root of all that is wrong in the world.” __Dr. Paul Farmer, A Harvard trained doctor who traveled the world treating the poor and disenfranchised


“If you can meet with triumph and disaster, and treat those two imposters the same…” __

Posted over the door at Wimbledon that is a line from Rudyard Kipling’s poem, If on how to win well and lose well




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