Athletes are people. So are people

Trade talk is the bread-and-low-fat vegetable spread of sportstalk radio and social media. A lot of times it’s just that, talk. But there’s times when it not only is nonsense, but seems like a desperate plea for attention.

Take, for example, the talk Monday the Golden State Warriors were about to make a blockbuster deal involving Klay Thompson.

The very idea was preposterous from the start, considering the massive rebuild the Warriors’ roster went though over the summer to accommodate Kevin Durant, the fact that the season is just a few weeks old, and, after an early stumble or two, Golden State is starting to shed the training wheels and go full Tour de France.

Yet, it was out there, so had to be dealt with. And, thankfully, one local reporter had to remind us the players are human beings with families, feelings, etc., which seems to be quickly forgotten in this era of media hype and fantasy leagues.

It’s easy to dismiss that as so much fuel for the 24/7/365 news cycle sports has become.

It would be nice to be able to dismiss in the same way some of the incidents in the past few days, based on race, gender and other factors, in the wake of the election of Donald Trump as the next President of the United States.

Take, for example, the African-American veteran who was denied a free meal at Chili’s on Veteran’s Day when his service was called into question – erroneously – by a white veteran.

Or, the San Jose State student who said she was attacked on campus in what’s believed to be a racially-motivated attack. Another Muslim student, at San Diego State, was robbed, with the suspects making remarks about her faith and referencing Trump’s election, according to news reports.

Yes, in an election cycle where the sleaze-o-meter was at an all-time high, has human decency been thrown out like the baby’s bathwater?

These victims, like athletes, have families as well. They’re like the rest of us, working to improve their lot in life and, one hopes, leave the world in a little better shape than they found it.

And here in Santa Cruz County, bless the high school students , even though their role in the voting process was limited, for their role in social activism on Monday.

Students from Harbor, Santa Cruz and Soquel high schools staged a march protesting the election on Monday, while pupils at Kirby Prep have been involved in discussions regarding immigration, which led to a sit-in.

Is the administration-in-waiting listening? From the appointment of the head of a news site with racist and anti-Semitic tendencies to a key advisory post in the administration, the continued attacks on news media reporting less-than-favorable stories and talk of bringing back the House Un-American Activities Committee, signs aren’t good. The echoes of finding “Second Amendment solutions” from the campaign trail are still ringing. And remember talk of rioting in the streets over the results? Those are becoming true.

Which is why protests, while nice, must also be turned into action after Jan. 20.


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