It seems these days that all too often the media wants to focus on people they claim to be victims. These people who all too often do not take personal responsibility for their actions but rather blame others for their predicaments are celebrated in the media. They are held up as heroes. I wonder why we don't celebrate those that take responsibility for their actions demonstrating humility and grace in the process?
No doubt you have heard about the US Olympic team hammer thrower and her behavior on the medal platform during the playing of the national anthem. She said she was offended by the U.S. flag and national anthem and her actions demonstrated her disregard for our country. She has been celebrated for her strength and courage. She should not be. She should be held responsible for her actions to prove her claims, and you can disagree with something and still show class and grace.
Take the example of Sha'carri Richardson, also a US track and field athlete with Olympic aspirations. Richardson is one of the fastest women in the world and recently won the 100 meter race at the US Olympic trials. She is a favorite to win gold in Tokyo. At least she was. It just so happened that she tested positive for marijuana which is still a substance banned by the International Olympic Committee and the world anti-doping agency. Richardson was suspended for 30 days which meant she would not be eligible to run in her feature race at the Olympic Games.
Sha'carri did not complain or gripe about the decision. She took responsibility for her actions saying that she knew what she did was wrong, was against the rules, and that she should be held responsible. She was willing to take the punishment and hoped that she would be chosen for the relay team in Tokyo. Her story is a little more heart-wrenching than someone who was just enjoying smoking the ganja. While sitting down for an interview with a reporter prior to the race, that reporter asked Sha'carri how she was dealing with her biological mother's death? Richardson did not know that her biological mother had passed away. She suffers from anxiety and it kicked in big time. She smoked the marijuana to help calm her nerves.
Too many people today would have used that as an excuse and demanded leniency. But she did not. To add a little bit of salt to that wound, the US Olympic Committee did not select her to run on the Olympic relay team in Tokyo. Again she could have, as is all too often done today, made a big fuss about it and screamed racism or bigotry. She did not. She said she was now dedicated to working harder to be back at the World Championships in two years and the next Olympics in four years.
Sadly, many in the media choose to focus on those issues that she did not even bring up such as racism. Rather than celebrate the class with which she handled the situation, they are virtually ignoring that part of the story in talking more about her fellow Olympic athlete that decided to be a victim. We definitely need more people like Richardson to be celebrated and used as an example.