By now you’re probably familiar with the controversy around Indiana’s Religious Freedom laws. Over at The Nation, their resident sports editor, David Zirin, is always ready to find some radical leftist angle on any sports story, and this year’s NCAA Final Four tournament was no exception. In the week leading up to the Final Four games, Zirin published a piece “Duke University Coach Mike Krzyzewski Is a Profile in Cowardice” demanding that a firm stand be taken by Coach K:
“I’m only going to talk about my team and basketball and the Final Four. Just like when we get to Indiana, I’m not going to talk about social issues or poverty or anything else. I’m just going to talk about this Duke basketball team.”
The above words were said this morning by Duke University basketball coach Mike Krzyzewski answering the question about whether he would have anything to say on Indiana’s Religious Freedom Restoration Act, which in a post-Hobby Lobby Era, is already granting businesses the “freedom” to discriminate against the LGBT community. Coach K’s curt comment could probably best be described as a profile in cowardice. His school, Duke University had already issued a statement…
At the top of the post is an update that after Zirin’s original article was written the four participating coaches issued a joint statement supporting the Radical Left’s position. But back to Zirin’s personal assault on Coach K, he continues:
To be clear, I am not arguing that Coach K should come out and stand with the LGBT community, if that is not what he believes. The man is a longtime Republican donor who in 2002 deeply upset people in Durham when he held a fundraiser on campus at the Duke Inn and called his party Blue Devils for Dole. In other words, Coach K has a number of options for how he could respond to this mushrooming controversy.
As Colonel Potter would have said, “Horse hockey!” When the radical left gets its sight on a cause disagreeing with their dogma is heresy. Had Coach K. presented the “wrong” opinion he would have found himself at the center of a hate campaign when his focus needed to be on preparing his team for their big game. If that sounds like a crazy assertion, look no further than what happened to a small pizzeria over the heinous offense of committing a thought crime. Or look at the 70 year old grandmother florist who faces financial ruin in the name of “tolerance”, or other leftists who think that other forms of heresy warrant imprisonment. Zirin goes on to assert that
Normally, I am a big believer that we should not demand coaches or athletes to make political statements if they have no desire to do so.
Since when? He goes onto explain why this is an exception and concludes with
Mike Krzyzewski once said, “I don’t look at myself as a basketball coach. I look at myself as a leader who happens to coach basketball.” This isn’t leading. It’s not even following. It’s standing for no one but yourself.
Actually, Zirin misses one point that leftists often do – maybe your latest Two Minute Hate isn’t the reason that the rest of us need to drop everything in our lives. Coach K. is someone in a critical leadership position, and there are several young men known as the Duke basketball team who are looking for him to lead them in the biggest game of their lives. For a number of them, this will be their last major basketball game that they ever play in (for those of you who don’t follow college hoops, Duke has since won the tournament to become NCAA champs). The coach’s first commitment is to his boys. Him voicing a personal stance would not have made any difference either way in how the law was treated. But the controversy that would have followed, having reporters chasing him with cameras and microphones would have been a huge distraction to his ability to lead his team. Instead the coach honored his commitment and put those who placed their trust in him first – what a concept!
Of course, this is the same David Zirin I wrote about a year ago when he took offense that conservatives refused to engage in anti-gay bigotry by holding a player to a lower standard based on his sexual orientation. Even when he tries to take the high road, Zirin still comes off like a jerk. In defending Philadelphia Eagles’ head coach from accusations of racism by ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith,
he still couldn’t do it without still making some backhanded, thinly veiled accusation that Kelly may be a racist anyway.1 Thankfully for Zirin the NFL draft is coming up soon, and he can resume finding ways to blast the sport that he Radical Left loves to hate. As for Zirin’s views on how Coach K. handled himself in the week leading up to the championship, Walter from “The Big Lebowski” would probably have had some choice words in response (language warning):
Cross posted from Brother Bob’s Blog
1 As a die hard Eagles fan who is none too happy with Chip’s offseason moves this year, all I have to say is that there are plenty of legitimate reasons for criticizing him – adding wrongheaded ones into the mix won’t help anyone.