Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Respect. For everyone.



Today kind of snuck up on me. I was sitting at home Sunday night reveling in another Green Bay Packers win (undefeated world champs, baby) when suddenly it hit me "Crap! I have to get a post ready for Tuesday."

Hmm...what to write about? The Brewers heading to the World Series! NOPE. They lost. Please send your condolences to my husband and the entire state of Wisconsin. Fantasy Football? Maybe, but does everyone really want to hear how badly I'm sucking this year? Probs not.

Monday afternoon I was still at a loss. So I did what any good social media nerd would do, I sent out a tweet for help.


One person answered my plea. Seriously, you guys, nobody listens to me anymore.


My first thought was "I know nothing about Indy Car racing". But the more I thought about it the more I realized I didn't have to write about Indy Car racing, I had to write about the human factor. Actually I don't even know if that's the correct term. The human aspect? Humanity? Whatever I'm trying to say I think you know what I mean.

Sports "figures" are human beings, with parents and kids and dogs. Just because most of them make enough money to never have to worry about paying the bills each month doesn't mean that they aren't somebody.

Everything I've read about Dan Wheldon paints him as a wonderful person. A caring husband and father, a great friend and an all around good guy. However, because he's a sports figure, people will view him as only that. Take a look at this comment I saw on a story about Dan and his wife getting matching tattoos the night before his crash:


PLEASE..........DO NOT EVEN TRY TO MAKE THIS INTO A TRAGEDY. THESE IDIOTS DRIVE 200 MILES PER HOUR IN COFFINS.

Are. You. Kidding. Me! He's still a real person. He died. It is a tragedy! Yes, his career presented a certain risk, but that doesn't make his death any less tragic. We all take calculated risks everyday. If a plane crashes and people die we don't say "Well that's what they get for thinking they could fly! Idiots".

I'm not trying to do a whole "Athletes! They're just like us!" post, but I just want people to remember that celebrities and entertainers and athletes are people and when they die they leave behind loved ones. We have no right to say they "deserved" it because their careers put them in harms way. Their lives are important and deserve to be treated with respect.

I sincerely extend my deepest condolences to Dan Wheldon's family and friends. As they mourn his death I hope they don't see any of the ugliness like that comment above, but instead are comforted by the fact that he was a good man and touched many lives.

6 comments:

  1. I think its so easy to get caught up in the "celebrity" of it all and forget that there is a real person behind the persona.
    My heart goes out to his family.

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  2. That comment almost makes me violent. Should a soldiers death not be considered a tragedy? They willingly go out there and risk their lives to protect this country or what it stands for. Not to compare an athlete to a soldier but Ahhhhhh!

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  3. @Hutch I was so mad when I read that comment. I just DO NOT understand what would make a person type that. So unbelievably insensitive. And I see comments similar to that on blog posts about athletes and celebrities all the time. People talking about them like they're not real, like they wouldn't be missed if they were gone. Just makes me so mad.

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  4. People are idiots and they don't know when to keep their mouths shut. I've stopped reading comments on news stories because they just make me so angry. I certainly hope his family doesn't have to read stupid things like that. They have enough pain to deal with.

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  5. Seeing this a few weeks late, but thanks for making sure people understand that they are people. They deserve for people to say it's a tragedy. How would they feel if someone said that about them? What if they were just walking across the street like I do everyday, and a car hit me? What would they say? It's all perspective and people definitely need to get some.

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