PRUETT COLUMN: Sports need not distract

Published 3:42 pm Saturday, July 9, 2016

I am sick of the violence.
I am tired of seeing people die, no matter what color of skin.
This has to end, and it has to end now.
There is no easy answer to how to end the violence that is currently shaking our country to its knees.
Finger-pointing is not the answer. You can’t just say it is one group’s fault. We are all at fault.
We have all sat back for too long and allowed this to happen. The time for it to stop has long passed. People are dying and people are scared.
I was personally too afraid to be out in public Friday on my day off to visit one of the vigils held in Southeast Texas to honor the police officers killed in Dallas.
I admit that. I was afraid to be in public surrounded by others. That is a first in my life.
I was in my car Friday and at some point I was listening to ESPN Radio 97.5-FM. It was my favorite show, “The Blitz” with Fred Faour and A.J. Hoffman.
If you have never listened to “The Blitz,” I must tell you these two guys are hardly ever serious for too long. They joke, poke fun at anyone and talk about more than just sports.
Friday’s show was mostly about the recent violence against cops and from cops against African Americans.
Black men called in one after another and described the fear they have each time they are on the streets in a car. These men told stories of being pulled over up to 30 times in their lives and being detained for up to an hour and one was for a broken license plate light.
What? Are you serious?
Friday was the first time I have ever been afraid of leaving the house in my life. I can’t imagine the feeling of being scared every time I get into a car.
I also came to realize people use sports as a distraction from all the horrible stories around the globe.
I disagree with this notion now. We don’t need to be distracted from these problems. We need to keep an eye on these problems every day.
There needs to come a day when every man and woman feels safe being on the roadways. Of course there is a nervous feeling one gets when a cop pulls you over for something, but there should not be fear.
This isn’t a cop problem. This is a “we” problem. We all need to carry this burden and demand change.
Sports cannot be a distraction. Sports are beautiful things. The games unite us as one.
We come together to cheer, boo, scream and cry together. We cheer for athletes of every race and sexuality. We heckle the opponents not because they are black or white, but because we respect the opposition and want them to have a hard time against our team.
I am begging anyone who reads this column to find a way every day to better yourself. Find a way to help your fellow man, no matter what race they are.
I want a better world for the young black athletes I know at Port Arthur Memorial, Nederland and Port Neches-Groves. I want this country to be better for every black male and female I don’t know. Nobody should feel scared, threatened or less a person than myself.
If we don’t start to take care of each other in this country, even this home of the brave will fall.
Gabriel Pruett: 721-2436. Twitter: @PaNewsGabe

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About Gabriel Pruett

Gabriel Pruett has worked with both the Port Arthur News and Orange Leader since 2000. A majority of the time has been spent covering all aspects of Southeast Texas high school sports. Pruett's claim to fame is...being able to write his own biographical information for this website.

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