Note: Make sure you read Doug’s article on Ray Rice from last week.
This new series is guest blogged by Doug Logan.
Doug Logan was the CEO for USATF from 2008 until September 2010. He was also the CEO, President and Commissioner for Major League Soccer from 1995 to 1999. To read more about his background and involvement in Track, Soccer, Rugby and the Music industry, read my Freelap Friday Five Interview.
This is his 62nd article. Click here for his entire series.
SHIN SPLINTS 2014
Spare the Rod
We have become a nation of “Doubting Thomases”. The biblical story of Thomas the Apostle has its modern-day technological equivalent. If you will recall, Thomas was the disciple who stated, “Not until I stick my hand in the spear-wound in his side, or until I can put my fingers in the nail-holes in his hand, will I believe the Lord has risen”. The risen Jesus reportedly assuaged his doubt and allowed him to perform his grisly test.
Today, it seems, we cannot truly believe something has happened until we see the video. Shades of the “Dark Side of the Moon” or “The Whole Earth” conspiracy wackos! We have known about Ray Rice and his pugilistic prowess since last February, but we did not take umbrage until we actually saw the punches being thrown on video. We were told that 200,000 innocents have been brutally murdered in the carnage in Mesopotamia, but it took a video of the beheading of several Westerners to convince us that ISIL was a serious threat. We all thought Kim Kardashian was a little trashy, but it took the porn video showing her “strutting her stuff” to convince us she really was a tramp.
YouTube is today’s sodium pentothal.
The latest episode of the NFL soap opera has now been verified on video. The Minnesota Viking’s superb running back, Adrian Peterson, faces charges of reckless or negligent injury to a child which carries penalties of up to two years in prison and a $10,000.00 fine. He was charged with this felony in Texas for using a wooden “switch” to spank his four-year old son, and faces an initial court appearance in Conroe, TX on October 8th. Peterson was held out of his team’s game last weekend, after the news of this drama became public, but has since been reinstated by his team while legal “due process” takes its course.
In a deftly crafted statement by his legal team, [headed up by the unctuous Rusty Hardin, Roger Clemens’ lawyer during his drug travails] Peterson apologizes profusely for causing “unintended injuries” to his child and explains he was just using a form of corporal punishment that was used on him as a youngster. “I am not a perfect husband, I am not a perfect parent, but I am, without a doubt, not a child abuser”. He went on to say, “My goal is always to teach my son right from wrong and that’s what I tried to do that day”.
Apparently, the authorities have graphic evidence of the “lacerations” on the youngster’s body and some of those images have appeared on-line. Viking’s General Manager Rick Spielman admits, “The photos are disturbing”.
This episode has provided fodder for a far-ranging discussion of the issues related to contemporary mores of child discipline. Times have changed. The issues have a generational component; they have a cultural component; they have a geographic component. As Charles Barkley, raised in Alabama, weighed in, “They are going to have to arrest every African-American parent in the South. Whippings are a way of life”.
I was raised by a Dad who had huge hands. He was not shy about whacking me on the backside hard enough to leave crimson hand-print. He meted out justice in his own manner; I remember being vigorously spanked not necessarily for what I did, but, for example, for allowing my little brother to go out in the street. Early accountability!
Raised Roman Catholic, I learned of the violent propensities of Holy Mother Church. Sister Immacula let me have it on more than one occasion with a yardstick during my stint at St. Cassian’s parochial school. I attended a Catholic, Military boarding school for high-school, La Salle Military Academy. Brother Norbert would hit me hard with his knuckles on the top of the head [the notorious “Norby Knocker”] for talking during study hall and other minor infractions. Caught smoking a cigarette at age 14, Brother John threw a Ray Rice-worthy right-cross at me which caught me on the jaw and dropped me to the ground.
I was born too late. Too late to have the advantages of Spell Check. Too late to have at my disposal an electronic calculator. Too late to reap the benefits of the sexual revolution. And, too late to have YouTube as my protector.
I think the current conversation provoked by the Adrian Peterson affair is a good thing. Times have changed, and for the good. I have come to believe that the way I was raised is not necessarily a good way or a morally justifiable way. Corporal punishment is just wrong. And, as important, it does not work. Ironically, Brother John’s punch did nothing to dissuade me from smoking; it took another 50 years for me to kick the habit. I know of no one who claims a spanking or a beating changed their behavior. It just breeds resentment towards the perpetrator.
Corporal punishment is just like the use of torture to get prisoners to talk. It doesn’t work; it produces false remorse; it is uncivil and cruel.
Spare the rod and spoil the child?
Nah. Just spare the rod.