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Give ’em a break

What’s happened to us?

Why do we feel like sports allows us to attack the
innocent or young?

LeBron James is a professional athlete who claimed to be
on the verge of winning not 1, 2, 3…but 7 World
Championships. He has had the ball in his hands at the
end of many games too afraid to take the last shot. If
someone wants to rip him for choking, I say go ahead. He
brought it on himself and hasn’t proven he can handle the

Most professional athletes understand they need thick
skin. Since those athletes have no problem accepting
accolades and compliments from media and fans when they
are successful, they should accept varying opinions that
doubt their skills. If they don’t like it, they could
work in the real world and receive a real world pay check.

It easily could be the minority of fans but that minority
has gone too far blurring the lines between professional
athlete and the periphery of sports. Sarah Lucroy, Logan
Tully-Tillman and Justin Combs are not household names,
nor should they be. They are not professional athletes.
One is a housewife and the other two are high school
football players. All three have received treatment
that’s worse than Ryan Braun gets and none of them deserve

Sarah is receiving hate mail because she’s not physically
strong enough for Brewer fans. Tully-Tillman is receiving
death threats because he did something rude and silly as a
17 year-old. Combs is being attacked by those jealous of
his work ethic or because they think his life is their

Meet Sarah Lucroy. She’s a stay-at-home mom with a
beautiful two-year-old daughter. Since Los Angeles is
such a beautiful city in her eyes she accompanied her
husband on the trip. Since it was a long trip, he had a
big suitcase. He was looking for a sock under the hotel
bed–just like we all look for the last-minute odds-and-
ends before we check out of the hotel. As he reached for
the sock, Sarah was shifting the suitcase to the end of
the bed. She wasn’t strong enough to handle the
unbalanced suitcase that she had pushed too close to the

The suitcase fell right on to her husband’s hand. Sarah
had just broken the hand of the National League’s number
one hitting catcher with a .345 batting average on the
season. How horrible must a wife feel? Her husband,
Jonathon Lucroy had worked his whole life to get to this
point. He’s one of the best catchers in the game. On a
team without Prince Fielder and with an under-performing
Rickie Weeks, Lucroy was a major lifter on a struggling
offense. His wife felt terrible when all she was doing
was trying to help.

How do Brewer fans respond? Thousands find Sarah’s
Facebook page and bombard her with hate-filled messages.
Truly the definition of courage is not defending a nation
in a foreign country, willing to take a bullet for the
ideals of liberty and freedom. Courage is sitting in
front of a keyboard attacking a man’s wife for trying to
help him during his travels.

Meet Logan Tully-Tillman. He is not a sympathetic figure.
A high school standout in football, Logan received many
scholarship offers and letters from schools across the
nation. He was increasingly intrigued by one of the most
famous college rivalries in the country: Ohio State and

Logan thought it would be boring to announce that he had
made his choice. Before his oral commitment, he figured
spice was in order. As he announced his choice to attend
Michigan, he took a letter from Ohio State and burned it
to show he was a Michigan man. Of course, the act would
not be enough. It needed to be videoed and tweeted out
for all to see.

It was a stupid move. Clearly the move of an immature
teenager who thought he knew everything in the world and
could handle every situation. Clearly it was something
that was just as dumb as some of the decisions all of us
made when we were 17.

How did Ohio State fans respond? Instantly tweeted death
threats and Gregg Williams-like bounty offers for any
Buckeye football player who could inflict pain on Tully-
Tillman during his first run-in with Ohio State. Courage
is not being a teenager in the hallways of Columbine High
School being gunned down after having your religion
questioned at the point of the gun and answering the
question without fear of repercussions. Courage is
threatening to kill a teenager because he burned a letter.

Meet Justin Combs. Another high school football player
but this time he’s done nothing even remotely
questionable. All Combs has done is worked hard enough in
football to earn a scholarship. He’s also worked on
earning strong grades and showing solid character in other
areas of his life to earn an extra financial gift from his
new college.

Here’s the catch as people with lesser work ethic see it.
Combs’ father has a lot of money. Since Combs’ father has
a lot of money, Justin shouldn’t receive an earned benefit
and the money should go to a lesser qualified candidate.
Combs and his father are being attacked by political
pundits and the blogosphere for taking what he’s earned.

What has happened to our country? All we do is push kids
to achieve more. We test them at every step to make sure
they’re learning exactly what we want them to learn. They
pass every test along the way, do extra to earn extra,
then we attack them for what they earned because it’s not
fair to those who didn’t earn it? Here’s an idea: if you
don’t earn something, instead of tearing down those that
do, work harder so you earn it.

To Sarah, Logan and Justin:

You live in the greatest country in the world. I hope the
jealous, immature and misguided Americans never get you
down. Congratulations on your success to this point and
good luck earning more.