Hyper-sensitivity Has Gone Too Far – Be the Voice of Reason
It seems to me that everybody is just too darn sensitive today. The slightest misstatement seems to unleash a cavalcade of outrage by some group, somewhere. Enough already!
Sometimes we say things that are plain dumb, but it does not automatically mean we meant it to be hurtful.
Cam Newton’s dumb comment about a woman reporter who asked about receiver routes in a recent press conference is a case in point. Was it foolish? Yes. Insensitive? Yes. Does it mean he thinks women are lesser than men? I doubt it.
Quite frankly, I think he was probably was just caught by surprise. It may have been the first time he heard a woman ask such a detailed, strategy focused football question and, not thinking about what he was about to say, he thought it would be funny to make a smart-alecky comment.
Well, as you might expect, his sarcasm backfired. The media immediately piled on. I watched the usual suspects of liberal sport personalities line up and express mock outrage as if Cam had committed some heinous act that resulted in lasting physical or mental injury.
They got what they wanted. Dannon Yogurt was so appalled they fired Cam as their spokesman. Really? One stupid, sarcastic comment and that’s it? You are blackballed?
Here’s what I wish the reporter who asked the question had done:
- Go to the Carolina Panthers press people and express how offended she was and request an apology from Cam
- Once Cam made a public apology I wish this reporter would have said something along the lines of “It’s over. I do not expect any further retribution by anyone against Cam. He made a foolish comment. He apologized and I accept his apology.” Just like Larry Bird did when Isiah Thomas said, “If Larry Bird were black he would just be another player.”
The point would have been made, Cam would have been publicly shamed and the sports world could have gotten back to business.
Instead, as part of his penance Cam will be expected to answer dozens of dumb and repetitive questions and this story will receive needless attention for days to come.
My point is this. Stand up against group think and mock outrage. If someone says or does something which at first seems to be mean or insulting, take a moment to understand why he/she said what he/she said and explore if it was a true reflection of what is in the person’s heart. If you find it was an innocent slip of the tongue defend that person, even if it means going against what your peer group expects.
If you don’t, be careful because you may one day find yourself in the unenviable position of fighting for your career or reputation because of your own innocent slip of the tongue.
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