This blog is not about sports. It's about leadership. It's about being your best. It's about success. It's about inspiring and being inspired. It's about life. And that's why I cannot let today go by without commenting on this important issue. This 31-second video message, apparently recorded on November 11, 2011, from Penn State's president is simply not enough.
Like you, dear reader, I am unimaginably sad. My heart aches for vulnerable boys in our society. I weep for the sons of mothers I will never know. I write a lot about corporate greed and how we should respond to it, but what corporate greed led to at Penn State is something I never imagined or foresaw. The only honorable thing for the university to do is to forfeit today's game. “But what about the innocent players?” you may ask. Well, here's what about them.
My heart breaks as well, albeit to a much lesser degree, for the players whose careers could be ruined by something they had nothing to do with. However, that's life. I'm sorry. I teach my two children that each of them could ruin it for the other.
When I promise them a treat, and condition it on good behavior, I remind each of them to hold their sibling accountable. I don't want my daughter to think that she can behave, and sit by and watch her brother misbehave and do nothing because she thinks she'll get a treat anyway. And vice versa.
Whether it's a family, a church, a business organization or a neighborhood, the acts of one person can and do ruin it for the whole family or organization. Consequences are not just visited on upon those who directly bring them about. They are visited upon everyone. it's sad, but it's true. The world works that way.
We need look no further than the current state of the American and world economy to see that universal truth in full operation.
Those young players could learn first-hand today that there are (not that there should be, but that there ARE) consequences to doing nothing in the face of evil. What better way to teach them than to forfeit the game? They'd think twice their whole lives before turning a blind eye, ever. And one day, it could save someone's life. Maybe even a child's.
A single smiling face in the Penn State showers today if they win will be a travesty. A single tear shed if they lose would be another travesty.
Either way, the showers and the field they are connected to are places of great evil. No honorable sportsman could be the least bit proud to abide there today.
“All that is needed for evil to flourish is for good men to do nothing.” – Edmund Burke
Question: What do you think?