Opinions Not Wanted?

Who really does?

Who really does?

It has been quite some time since I last posted here, but a situation has prompted a great deal of thought.  I wrote an editorial column about a basketball game for another site and didn’t think twice about sending it to the editor for publishing.  It is something I have been doing for years, so it was old hat at this point.  The article was posted, but then taken down the next day.  My editor gave me an explanation, but in my mind it was not acceptable.

Let me point out here that my editor and I are very close and that has not changed.  He explained to me that one of the coaches in the game was upset with something I wrote and he asked that it be taken down, he given an apology, or to not cover his team at all moving forward. He argued that the piece was “completely false” and irresponsible at best.  Fearing that he may not have read my piece thoroughly, the editor took it down to quell what backlash he saw coming.

After I got finished expressing to him that what was accused was indeed not true, he read it again.  He agreed that he could understand why the coach would be upset, but also see that it was blown out of proportion.  For the record, I told him I could see why he would be upset too and I was ok with that.  It was not re-posted, but nor was a retraction.  At that point it was agreed that he would agree to disagree with the coach and let it be. Well, at least that was my editor’s idea I believe. 

For me though, it was and is a matter of principle.  As a columnist, I report facts, but also factual-based opinions.  That’s why I took the column in the first place.  Much like this blog, no one will read it if there are wild inaccuracies and conjectures, but if they can see thought and processed ideas, even little ol’ me can have an opinion people may want to consider.  I love sports.  I love helping kids.  I love giving them exposure.  I also love to express a slant on things that many can’t.

I have been coaching for the better part of 21 years.  I am also a writer.  I have also been educated at one of the highest institutions of higher learning.  That is not said to brag, but rather to show the unique perspective.  Columnists have it hard though.  Even national ones get backlash from what they write in many cases, but a true columnist I think welcomes that.  That affords them more opportunity to explain their words.  Opinions to columnists are golden.  They are what drives a column in a nutshell.  But I find it amazing how many want to give you theirs without receiving yours. 

When I write, it is to inspire thought and hopefully discussion.  I am not looking for fans or people to “like” me.  I am expressing myself through written prose.  A coach that expresses a dissenting opinion was able to get my article removed.  Since then, an AD and a principal has also expressed “interest” or maybe “fear” that it would make someone or some people look bad or draw negative attention to their facility.  While I am not going to use this space to reposition the article, I will ask this; why is it such a big deal if the fact-based opinion of mine had no validity?  Even more so, why not read it first (I can tell that they did not based on what they said it contained)?  But even beyond that, why not realize that your own opinion isn’t the only one out there?  Every individual’s perception is their own reality.  Often, people’s perceptions coincide based on similar beliefs. But even then differences arise. 

So, what do you do?  Welcome a different, perhaps even more unbiased opinion than your own?  Maybe you fight against the idea that anyone would dare to challenge you.  Then again, you may choose to ignore anything that is not like yours.  You could attack the dissenting person.  You could attack whatever entity is connected that person.  You could do a whole bunch of stuff.  But the reality is people say they welcome another opinion, but that is often only when it matches their own.  Whatever you express, you should understand the possibility for rebuttal.  I do…How about you?

5 thoughts on “Opinions Not Wanted?

  1. This was well written. I am interested in reading the article that you chose not to reposition in your blog. However, I do understand your not wanting to share it. I respect your choice. One of the things I strive to keep in mind is that if someone does not like my expressed opinions on things doesn’t mean my opinion is bad. It simply means they did not like it. They have that right to disagree. What I see displayed here is the respect you have for your leadership. After expressing your thoughts on their censorship, you have chosen to abide by their decision. You do not agree with their decision, however, you respect them and the position they hold. I would assume their decision was not an easy one for them to make. However, they made it. Keep writing. You have an opinion that needs to be hear.

    • Indeed elder, that is exactly the case. I have grown to understand the importance for respecting the authority in any situation even when that authority may be incorrect. Subsequently, that has allowed me to also grow in my approach to things by finding alternate routes to convey the same ideas. Thank you for your kind words and believe me, not even the devil himself can stop this voice.

  2. Im so proud of you man!! I have truly seen you grow not only as a Little brother but as a GROWN MAN!! Im so proud to call you my brother… Every time I look hear and read your thoughts and opinions I have to immediately begin to process yor thoughts and think of relevant issues,concerns, and opinions. Don’t EVER stop writing man!

    Love you Bro

    • Thank you man. It means that much more coming from the guy I have looked up to all of my life. I have learned through taking some time away from writing that it was not the thing to do. God has entrusted me with this gift to use for His service and I must continue to find ways to do so. Keep reading man and spread the word!

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