Sunday, September 6, 2009

Trash talk

I do not like trash talk. Friday a very good football player for a team was suspended for the entire year because he sucker punched an opposing team player, and the game was over. It turns out the opposing team player was taunting him, or talking trash. I have watched people talk trash and I won't join in. I find trash talkers lack class. Bravado is their measure of success and while trash may be viewed by some as trying to get into someone else's head, I think it just indicates lack of respect and can create a dangerous situation.

Many murders are committed by family members. Often the trouble starts with verbal confrontation. Perhaps someone is trying to intimidate another family member. Perhaps they are angry, under the influence of some chemical that lowers there inhibition and good judgment. Then words come out. Words can be inflammatory, they can evoke strong emotional reaction that could lead to someone attacking, getting a weapon, or committing an act of revenge.

Teasing is a form of taunting. I have told people close to me, beware, teasing can lead to an angry confrontation and words can be spoken that like the bell once rung cannot be unrung. In the emotion of the moment people may seek retaliation and say things they never intended to say. Like the bell, a hurt once applied cannot be unhurt. I may pass if off, I may say it's okay after an apology but the truth is it is not OK. Sometimes the hurt is minor and can be dismissed. Other times the hurt wounds and while we may carry on the relationship it is altered. It is changed.

Barry Sanders, whom I feel could've been the greatest running back in the NFL was nothing but class. I watched him strike fear into his opponents. I heart his opponents speak of him with respect and admiration. Yet you never saw Barry Sanders get in an opponents face. When he scored a touchdown for Detroit he got up, ran back to the sidelines and would not accept fist pumps, fist bumps, or any other demonstrative show of immature ignorance. He had performed his job, he had done what he was paid to do. It is a shame that he cut his career short. Barry never played with a competent offensive line, he labored on a team that rarely won, and certainly was not a power. Yet without a line, and little help from his team he was recognized as one of the truly great runners. Had he any support there is no doubt in my mind that Barry would be the greatest runner of all time.

All that talent and class to boot. I have long felt that those who resort to relentless teasing, trash talking and that kind of bravado suffer from underlying inferiority feelings and mask that insecurity with aggressive behavior. The problem is, often they are very good people who are worth knowing but we never get to know the really good side because of all the smoke screen bullshit they pump out. I pity them.

So the guy who threw the sucker punch is out for the year. The opposing player who taunted will be disciplined internally the coach says. I say kick his ass off the team for a year too. He is a true asshole. I listen to family members around me make fun of people, tease relentlessly and say things that if the other person could hear them would hurt their feelings. I did that too, years ago. I try very hard to make a conscious effort to not make fun or belittle people. I do not talk trash. I've done that and had times I couldn't back up my trash and suffered the embarrassment of eating crow. For the past number of years I try very hard to treat everyone I meet with respect. To do that, I have found you have to adopt that behavior internally, you have to truly feel that way. It makes life so much more worthwhile.

Taunting, trash, harsh teasing have no place in our world. Those that practice it are bums.

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