Dear Today Show- I watch you every morning. And, for the most part, I love your news content. I say for the most part because this morning, one of your stories made me cringe a little. And here's why:
By now, most avid news readers/listeners/watchers have been introduced to Kaleb Ellus (the young student who saved the lives of 22 passengers on a school bus in western Mississippi when a 14-year old female student pulled a .380 semi-automatic handgun out and started threatening to shoot and ordering the bus driver to pull over). And, as expected, The Today Show covered this great story and what a heroic thing Ellus did. However, the coverage of the story seemed a little absurd considering the secondary focus of the story was that Ellus is a “football star." Really? As in, REALLY? Because I’m sure he’s much more than a black kid who is talented when it comes to playing football.
Everyone interviewed in this story (besides the local sheriff) was somehow affiliated to the football team. I don’t get it. I really don’t. This whole thing didn’t have one thing to do with football (other than Ellus plays it). The crime didn’t take place during football practice, or on the football field, yet everyone has to keep referring to this kid as a football star and commenting/interviewing his football affiliates. And then the interviewer had the nerve to ask the football coach "Do you think he was able to do this because of the skills he learned in football?"
Oh, I'm so sure *rolling eyes*. This would have been my response: "Oh of course, definately. We train all our players how to put themselves between semi-automatic weapons and possible victims. The kinds of skills gained from these types of trainings go hand in hand with their abilities to score touchdowns in the game of football."
*cough* Bullshit! *cough*
I’m so tired of the fact that sports gets more attention than academics in this world. Think about it. Sport stars get paid the bookoo bucks to play with balls while academic book worms are getting paid little to nothing and sit in a cubical all day with artificial lighting. Sports activities are always promoted more in high schools than academic activities. I’ve never heard of a pep rally for the debate team or the science fair. But by god, they’re pulling kids out of class for assemblies to get everyone revved up for the “big game.” Ridiculous.
So why, when a smart, college bound kid, with good grades, comes along and does something heroic like place himself between a .380 semi-automatic handgun and 22 students, do we focus on the fact that “OH! And he plays football!”