Sports as promoter of people, ideas, and tolerance

As we have just recognized and acknowledged in our own ways the 10th anniversary of the attacks of 9-11-01, we now begin a new day. September 12 now seems almost insignificant when compared to September 11, no matter what the year. Leading up to and on the 11th, we rally as communities, states, as a country, and even on a global level, for what occurred that day – loss of life, injuries, emotional scarring that will last lifetimes – has touched every part of the world at some point in history. Suffering is universal. But so is survival and renewal.

We survive and start over because that is who we are as human beings. We are not made up of the type of hate that fueled the attacks 10 years ago. We are made up of compassion, camaraderie, a need to be around others, to support our fellow man and woman, especially when we see unnecessary suffering or simply opportunities to help people improve their lot in life.

Very few things in our daily lives provide as formal or clear opportunities to express who we truly are as citizens of this world as sports does. Each and every day, from the dustiest fields to the greenest and most plush turfs, from the smallest communities to the biggest cities, we are blessed that we have opportunities to test ourselves, to test each other, and to walk away better for having interacted with each other. Sports unites us. It unites ideas. And it unites those who are different in so much as to acknowledge and tolerate those differences. Those positive ideas were compromised on 9-11-01. However, they were not lost. And we owe it to everyone lost that day, their families, and to our fellow global citizens to not forget that fact.