If You Ain’t Cheating, You Ain’t Winning or Does Cheating Show A Deeper Problem In an Athlete’s Life?

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Dad’s, with all of the cheating that is going on in sports these days, how do you talk to your kids about this issue?

It’s hardly new. “Back in my day”, I wanted to throw a knuckler like Phil and Joe Niekro and a spitball like Gaylord Perry. Those were fun guys and Joe and Gaylord were cheaters, but hey, it was funny right? Did George Brett really mean to run Pine Tar that far up on the bat?

Come on! Lighten up!

Now this was before we really got serious on baseball cheaters like McGwire, Sosa, Bond (allegedly), A-Rod and the list goes on and on in that sport. But then there’s “Stickum” in football, anabolic steroids, growth hormone in almost every Olympic sport, blood doping in cycling, academic cheating from junior high through college for basketball and football players, car modification cheating in racing…maybe it is true, if you ain’t cheating, you ain’t trying!

So we really shouldn’t be tripping out about Tom Brady.

But this article in The Root breaks down that we do view and talk about cheaters differently, I highly recommend giving it a read.

Here are some of the highlights:

“If he were black, people would be calling him a criminal and saying that his behavior reflected some innate values. They would blame hip-hop, single mothers and the culture of poverty. If he were a black player, the conversation wouldn’t be about Goodell or the system but how the lack of a work ethic and morals led him to cut corners, to win “by any means necessary.” If he were black, the conversation would turn to affirmative action and how he was forced to cheat because he lacked the skills needed to excel at this elite level….Brady demonstrates yet again that whites are innocent … until proved innocent. Any evidence to the contrary proves that the system is flawed, that we have a miscarriage of justice.”

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Dad’s when you’re having this discussion with your kids, do you unknowingly talk differently based on the color of the athlete?

It’s something to think about and it’s how we teach our children about so-called race, without ever talking about race in our homes. Then we proudly exclaim to the world, “I teach my kids that skin color doesn’t matter, everybody should be treated the same!”

So do you treat everyone the same in your actions and judgements on who’s a cheater and who isn’t? Perhaps this is a good discussion to have with ourselves first, and then our children as well.

CSD

Happy Birthday To My Son KD!

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If you’ve been a regular listener to the CornerstoneDad podcast (if not, check out the episodes), you’ve heard my son KD on quite a few shows break down his thoughts on sports, race, relationships and anything else thrown at him.

Today is his 24th birthday!

When I was 24, he was 3 1/2 years old. I was working at a grocery store and was entering my 5th year there, struggling to figure out what to do with my life. The only stability I had at that time, was my then girlfriend and now wife, oh yea…and my Mustang!

However, there’s one thing I’m pretty confident about, and that’s the impact that young man had on my life.

Without him, there would likely be no CornerstoneDad.com, because it is through our trials and tribulations that made me appreciate my role even more.

Once again I’d like to remind my young dad’s out there to keep pressing. If you’re struggling being a young father while you’re trying to grow up and be a man your own-self, think of this time period out there as a football game:

0-5 yrs. old – 1st quarter

6-10 yrs. old – 2nd quarter

11-15 yrs. old – 3rd quarter

16-20 yrs. old – 4th quarter

Now, which QB will you be? When I was younger, I always knew that Joe Montana could make comeback. Dan Marino could make a comeback. You did not turn the channel because you never wanted to be “that guy” on Tuesday morning after Monday Night Football to hear, “You didn’t see what happened last night?”, because you turned the game off and went to bed because you thought the game was over. Not with those guys, because even if the Niners or the Dolphins would lose, the game would almost always be close in the end.

Will you give up because of the struggle in the 1st quarter or the 1st half? Oftentimes, the 3rd quarter determines the game, so if you have a good lead (relationship), will you relax and lose it in the 4th quarter? Are you a Peyton Manning or Tom Brady (the two top active career comeback leaders in NFL history) that are always determined to win, no matter what the early quarters looked like? Are you steadfast on remaining in the game because of your integrity and even if you “lose”, the court system, your child’s mother, your relatives, her relatives will all know, that you’re a fighter? You’ll fight to see or be involved in your child’s life regardless of the obstacles.

Personally, I wanted to throw in the towel in every quarter of the game. When the picture above was taken, seeing that young man at 24 was out of my realm of possibility. I thought the tough times would never end.

God is good,  and was working even when I was not a good father, and I praise him for allowing me to see my son turn 24, and for me to be alive to say, Happy Birthday for yet another year.

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