You know, there really is a bit of a sick culture in the high school athletic world – especially high school football. With that culture comes the equally sickening idea of what makes a man a man.
The way the high school athletic culture perceives what makes a man masculine… it’s nigh impossible for a sneaky little man like Sheldon Berman not to defend what his coaches do.
The culture seems to welcome things like telling players that they play like they’ve got vaginas. It supports phrases like ‘split the line open like a whore.’ It’s commonplace to motivate with homophobia and sexism. Coaches and principals just laugh behavior like that off, saying it’s just the way you have to coach young males.
It’s sick that Jefferson County Public Schools is officially pointing the finger at Max Gilpin and his parents. It’s possible that Gilpin could have been under the weather that day. Who knows, maybe he did take over the counter medication and was also on physician-prescribed medication at the same time? Maybe he didn’t tell his coach because of that ‘win at all costs’ philosophy and the notion of what makes a man a man.
But Gilpin wasn’t a man. He was still a child. A child who was supposed to be under the protective watch of adults. We hire these people (coaches) who are supposed to act as responsible adults. Adults who keep the best interests of our children at heart.
Guess we’ll never know what kind of man Max Gilpin would have become. But we know what kind of men Sheldon Berman and his cohorts have. They deflect blame at all costs and point fingers at the defenseless. Responsibility is not a value they embody.