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Sunday, May 16, 2021

Bridges: Sports seem insignificant in these troubling times

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I’ve always said sports certainly pale in comparison to the sanctity of real life.
Sure, it’s a trillion-dollar global industry, but when you look at it without the cash, it’s simply fun and games despite what the television networks promote in a nonstop fashion in an attempt to capture your interest and generate all that wonderful ad revenue.

Normally I’d be as happy as one can be with basketball, baseball and auto racing all overlapping one another, but it’s definitely not a normal spring.

It’s nearly impossible for me to get fired up about my beloved IndyCar racing and the upcoming NBA playoffs with all the violence and injustice ongoing in our society today.

I find it hard to concentrate on sports as I normally would when nearly every time l flip on my television or computer it’s another blatant example of gun violence and police brutality often aimed at people of color, many of them impoverished and with no legitimate chance to get ahead in the crazy world we live in.

Like billions of people, I watched the video showing the murder of George Floyd and was shaken to my core by it. How an excuse for a human being such as Derek Chauvin ever became a policeman to begin with is something I will never understand, and his ensuing criminal trial took yours truly to a dark place.

The fact that a coward hiding behind a badge could murder a man in public, all the while disregarding his pleas to live, is beyond insane and impossible to even begin reconciling.

None of it had to happen, and while anything short of a life sentence without the chance of parole for Chauvin seems criminal in itself, I remain optimistic that in the end this horrible ordeal has finally shined the proper light on just how dangerous things are.

There can be no debating the fact that more monsters such as Chauvin are out there and need to be dealt with swiftly.

As someone who led a rather sheltered life growing up in the rural setting of Greenwood, Indiana, I can honestly say I never anticipated the type of chaos that has become commonplace in this country and I struggle mightily every time l see the video clips of people’s rights being disregarded and their lives being threatened and in many cases taken, as if they meant nothing to begin with.

So forgive me if l can’t write about slam dunks and home runs as sports mean absolutely nothing in these troubled times. I’m hoping someday things will change, and then we can talk about what’s important and how to deal with things beyond that realm, and not be worried that a traffic stop or a search warrant will turn into yet another funeral that snuffs out the hopes and dreams of an individual and their families.

There will always be sports and all the entertainment that goes along with it. Just not right now. It’s just too difficult to cheer for your favorite team when there is a fitting moment of silence paying tribute to those we lost before the first pitch can be thrown.

Let these senseless killings stop, then maybe I’ll feel like heading to a racetrack or a basketball game. Until then I can’t cheer.

Danny Bridges, who would trade all his great sports memories in exchange for no more unnecessary illegal actions by rogue policemen, can be reached at 317-370-8447 or at bridgeshd@aol.com.

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