He Speaks So Well

I’m working on a few posts that involve a few more rainbows and butterflies. In the mean time you get another streaming consciousness post I typed up last week after seeing a bunch of somewhat prominent athletes I follow on twitter use nothing close to proper grammar. It was a rough Friday and I was feeling particularly grumpy at the time of typing. I promise some good stuff in the next couple days.

I wonder what would happen to our society of professional athletes were initially rewarded for the amount of education they received before leaving for the bright lights of the big leagues.

Hearing all of these professional athletes worth millions of dollars that I will never be able to fathom barely able to complete a coherent sentence. Barely able to finish a thought without saying ‘youknowwhatimsayin.’ Further perpetuating the stereotypes that most of us work so hard to disprove. I know twitter is only 140 characters at a time, but would it kill some of you to use something close to proper spelling and grammar?

These athletes are groomed at such a young age that character traits like common sense and rational thought are sacrificed for a 20ft jumper or a 97 mph fastball or a 4.3-40 yard sprint. Why is an education valued everywhere except sports? Why are these athletes put on pedestals for their physical abilities instead of their mental? I know these are rhetorical questions and are quickly put down in part because of the money involved. And if that’s the case then I blame the owners. I blame the General Managers. I blame the commissioners of these leagues for allowing this to get out of control.

Sure, you can point to the rules in place establishing a minimum time out of high school before players are allowed to enter their respective drafts, but are those rules in place to promote physical development and maturity or mental and educational development? Are the rules requiring a minimum number of years in college or simply out of high school? With players leaving High School for Europe, or in some cases abandoning a high school education altogether for professional opportunities, what are we telling our youth? What are we telling other countries when these are the people we promote and endorse?

You wonder why the United States is lacking in education? Because kids know how to spell NBA and not Tchaikovsky. Because kids know who Michael Jordan is and not Michael Crichton.

I wonder what would happen if we promoted times when athletes went back to finish their education as much as the ones that decided to leave it behind for MTV Cribs.

I eagerly await the day that we no longer have to use the phrase ‘well spoken’ to describe professional athletic prospects. I die a little inside when I hear a scout or analyst say “he speaks so well.”

Chris Rock can bring it home for me (Skip to 3:00)

Quick preview of the week: House painting, storage room cleaning, and a Jonas Brother? Yea…you’re interested. I can smell it 😀

2 thoughts on “He Speaks So Well

  1. In the land of the unicorns I have issues with those that cannot spell or use grammar. Where’s our other team member on this issue? Lee Ann, you still on vacation?

    Sad state of affairs America has come to. “Land of Opportunity” for those that seek money that is. Whatev.

    L. O. L. Love Chris Rock. “Omgosh, he speaks so well, ya know, for a (insert not a nice word here).” That’s the point people. Sad.

    Gore/Sharpton, ha ha.


  2. Crystal, you hit the nail on the head: “ya know, for a…” There are still so many preconceptions around based on skin tone and a history of legalized suppression of education and opportunity. High-visibility figures who speak poorly only serve to reinforce the negative stereotypes. In so doing, they perform a disservice to the younger generations who look up to them.



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