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    Jan

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By Ron Carter Blog Post Updates

Curbing Bad Behavior/Protecting Football Players

Former football star Jim McMahon during the “R...
Former football star Jim McMahon during the “Ringing in the New Year” celebrity tour at Forward Operating Base Loyalty in east Baghdad Dec. 31. Both players were part of the 1985 Super Bowl Champion Chicago Bears. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

As the XLVII Super Bowl approaches, I am excited my favorite team, the San Francisco 49ers, will be one of the teams competing for the coveted trophy. I am also concerned and trust the National Football League (NFL) will continue to research and work on behalf of making the game of football safer for the players. Since becoming aware of Dr. Daniel Amen, “the brain doctor,” I look at football with a different sensibility. No longer am I excited at the ferocious hits player levied on each other. No longer am I engaged at seeing these well conditioned athletes being carried off the football field because of injury. Dr. Amen has remarked football players’ brains are damaged every time there is head to head impact because of the sudden collision from a violent hit.

A few days ago, President Barack Obama voiced his concerns about the safety of football players. I agree with the remarks President Obama made to the press. I posted my concerns about the issue of players’ safety during a football game in one of my prior blogs . I trust many more pertinent individuals will do the same. While paying close attention to football games, I noticed that about 98% of the players tackle with their heads. Yes, I know they are wearing helmets, but those helmets do not protect the players from head injuries. If the helmets were fool-proofed, the NFL would not be researching the effects of concussion on many of its retired players. Several months ago, I read an article in Sports Illustrated magazine about the two-time winning quarterback Jim McMahon of the Chicago Bears fame. McMahon was one of the most courageous players during his era. He is currently suffering from early onset dementia. His girlfriend monitors his every move. He forgets where he is and has trouble sleeping. It is supposedly being reported that repeated blows to the head may be responsible for the current health issues of many retired players. I was sad after reading the McMahon article, because I remember Jim McMahon being a fearless, smart, athletic football player. McMahon is 53 years old.

So, as much as I enjoy watching football games, I am concerned what will happen to these current cadre of amazing athletes when their playing days are over. Afterall, they bring those of us who are football fans much enjoyment watching their athletic prowess. My hope is the NFL will continue to find ways to protect these young men. And, the NFL must support retired players who have enormous health care expenses.

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  • 08

    Jan

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By Ron Carter Blog Post Updates

Curbing Bad Behavior/Claiming A Renewed Spirit

I had a difficult time getting started in 2013. I experienced several peaks and valleys in December 2012. On December 6, 2012, a fundraising event I was co-chairing with my fellow Save Africa’s Children Board Member, Mattie McFadden-Lawson, was a major success. On December 10, 2012, I had breakfast with Lena Kennedy. She is campaign chair for her brother John Kennedy‘s race for Pasadena City Council, District 3. I am supporting John for this important seat on the Pasadena City Council (more on this in a later blog). On December 15, 2012, I attended the Black Journalist Association of Southern California (BJA-SC) Scholarship Reception and renewed my membership in this viable organization. I was elated being at the reception, because my friend, Xavier Higgs, is the new president of BJA-SC and it was great to witnessed several young individuals receiving financial scholarships from the organization.. On December 18, 2012, I received word from my sister that our eldest brother and my hero had passed away. This news was very heart-breaking. On December 21, 2012, one of my biggest supporters, Jack Setian, and very generous community leader died of a massive heart attack while visiting his family in Louisiana. A few days later, my business partner, Dr. Buashie Amatokwu, called to informed me her father died in Nigeria. Then on December 27, 2012 my beloved mother-in-law was admitted to the hospital with a mild stroke. As if this was not enough, my deceased brother’s sister-in-law passed away before the new year began. So, it was very difficult attempting to write my weekly blog, “Curbing Bad Behavior.” Through prayers, friendships and faith, I am committed to embrace all that the universe has to offer. Below is my first blog for 2013.
I applaud Mitzi Miller, editor in chief of Jet Magazine, for her magazine’s first cover story of 2013. Jordan Russell Davis, 17 years old, was Jet Magazine’s first cover story for 2013. This young man, who I trust will become a household name in the United States of America (USA), was gunned down by accused shooter Michael Dunn, 45 years old, at a gas station in Jacksonville, Florida on November 23, 2012. Why is Jordan’s death any different from any of the young African-Americans and Latinos being killed every hour in communities all across the United States of America? It was reported Jordan was seated in a SUV with friends playing music which Mr. Dunn thought was “too loud.” So, he shot into the SUV, eight or nine times, killing Jordan and then driving away leaving the young man to die in his friends’ arms.  Moreover, this so-called gun-totting tough guy, Mr. Dunn, is planning on using Florida‘s “Stand Your Ground” law as his defense. What kind of ignorant coward is Mr. Dunn? My mother always said if you do the crime then be prepared to do the time. Jordan was an exemplary young man. No amount of forgiveness or explanation will bring this young man back to life.

There are too many of our young men being killed in communities across the USA and there are no mass “public outrage.” Some of these young men are involved in gang violence and drug trafficking where death and prison incarceration are the order of the day. I understand that scenario. But, there are others like Jordan who was a potential business leader, doctor, fireman, police officer or engineer. Who is looking out for these young men like Jordan? We must stop blaming them and do “something” to help these young men chart a progressive course. Mentoring them is one such activity.

I have committed to my mentee to spend more time with him. What about you? Who are you helping? These young men and women need us? The time is now!

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