Man-up, when you say that, son
Published 4:29 pm Sunday, March 15, 2015
I wasn’t always a Curt Schilling fan. Somehow I always thought the bloody sock controversy from the Boston-vs-Yankees in Game-6 of the 2004 American League Championship baseball series was a farce. That’s the game where TV cameras kept showing Schilling’s stained sock on his right foot from an injury suffered by a spiking from a game earlier in the series.
However, give Boston credit, because even I had to admit it may have fired up the Red Sox so much that they went on to defy history at that time and later actually win a World Series after 86 years of futility. The team’s theme was, “Cowboy (Man) up!”
Since Schilling retired in 2007 he’s been in and out of the media for everything from his cancer fight, to his near bankruptcy, to his political views, to the diatribe that actually won me back over to the former Philadelphia Phillies player I rooted for back when he won his first World Series with the Arizona Diamondbacks.
In case you’re not familiar, it’s the horrific online abuse levied at Gabriel Schilling, his daughter, after she was accepted to Salve Regina University in Rhode Island to play softball.
The proud papa took to social media to praise his daughter and there were the usual congrats on Facebook, etc., but mixed in with the congratulations were some immature responses followed by some that were downright disgusting; so much so that I won’t repeat them here.
Then ‘the Schillster’ did something that should make any father – heck, any man – proud. He found out who these cretins were and ‘outed’ them. He may have gotten some stuff wrong in the past, but he was dead-on with this one:
“These boys have yet to understand one of life’s most important lessons,” he wrote on his blog. “In the real world you get held accountable for the things you say and if you are not careful that can mean some different things…This is a generation of kids who have grown up behind the monitor and keyboard. The real world has consequences when you do and say things about others.”
Some of the offenders have been suspended, fined, kicked out of school, jobs, etc.
Let these cowards know that you don’t get to sit behind your computer and hurl abuse at the world just because it’s what you feel like saying at that moment.
There is nothing funny or cool or manly about this type of behavior. And if you know people that behave this way, in real life or online, then how about making sure they know that. It happens because there are no perceived consequences and because there is some bizarre group mentality reward to it.
I’d love to see posters with these guys’ pictures and tweets on it. Let their mothers and families to be contacted and shown what their sons are doing. Would these cyber-bullies — I can’t even call them “men” — have been saying those things, if they thought their mom was watching, or anyone they personally knew and respected or loved, for that matter?
We hear so much these days about bullying. East Carolina football coach Ruffin McNeal even spoke to a group in Greenville earlier this week where he lauded a group at nearby Rose High School, members of a student group called “SNITCH”, Students Not Intimidated to Challenge Hurt.
So what do you tell your daughters – or even your sons – about all this; Schilling’s closing paragraph to his daughter said it notably:
“Gabby, I know you’re likely embarrassed and for that I apologize,” he wrote. “But as we have talked about, there is no situation ever in your life where it’s ok for any ‘man’ to talk about you, or any other woman this way (and truth be told no real man would ever talk this way anyway). It truly is time this stopped. I don’t know where it started because it sure as hell didn’t happen much when we were growing up. Know that I love you more than life itself and there is NOTHING I would not do to protect you. And while it may sound corny, that’s nothing I’d ever be shy about saying in public, either.”
About time, Number-38, and long past time it stopped.
Gene Motley is a Staff Writer for Roanoke-Chowan Publications. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org or 252-332-7211.