Friday, June 5, 2020
Returning and recognizing -- FRIDAY CARDINAL COUPLE
STEPPING LIGHTLY INTO THE UNKNOWN
A return of student-athletes to campus.
For the many UofL Athletics fans out there, it is a sign that sports are slowly coming back. Let's be brutally honest here, we all want to have a chance to watch, discuss and cheer the Cardinal Athletic squads this fall and beyond as they compete in their programs.
Let's set aside our desire for a moment, though, and go to the key component. The health of the student-athlete. I awoke this morning to hear that returning members of the Alabama football team have tested positive for COVID-19. Not exactly what you want to hear while having that first cup of morning coffee...but it's reality.
I wonder what we'll find when results are known/released for the Louisville student-athletes? This is a time where I am hoping for negative results....ironic, I suppose, for a writer that reports on the joy and positive aspects of events and athletes. I hope we get shut out and don't score, to use a sports vernacular.
The individuals who compete are putting a lot on the line by doing so. Yes, it is something that they've freely trained for the majority of their lives for. The training, conditioning, exercising and effort they put into playing soccer, football, field hockey, swimming or any of the other sports is something they do by choice and desire, not mandate or demand.
They must be in a safe environment, where they can participate in what they love without the worry or fear of catching a virus that shows no mercy, does not differentiate on who it affects nor discriminates by age, popularity or socio-economic background.
Protect those who want to play.
Until a vaccine is established and administered for all, there is that chance that, just by breathing, one could contract something we don't know how to cure yet. I don't want that for anyone. I know you don't either.
UofL has outlined steps -- phases, if you will -- for the return of student-athletes and their safety. This plan is far more important than any fan desires, economic impacts, fiscal responsibilities or political agendas. COVID-19 isn't taking a break because we are peacefully demonstrating and gathering to protest the social injustices in our society. COVID-19 doesn't care about rankings, recruiting or results.
i pray for the student-athlete. I hope this bold experiment of games without spectators, events without fans and competition among peers does not result in illness.
All lives are sacred and precious. Just based on the interviews I have done since establishing Cardinal Couple, I've been so fortunate to be able to hear a lot of individuals express and detail what is important to them, how they feel about sport, life and relationships. The student-athlete is a living, breathing, emotional, rational, passionate and caring part of our world.
Cherish and protect these individuals as you would any other precious commodity. Honor them and their dedication to something they love. Admire them for what they do, in uncertain times. If it means you can't go to the stadium, have a few beers and yell for the home team, it is a small price to pay for safety and health.
We look forward to bringing you the joy and excitement of UofL women's sports again and we will...but we will be patient, understanding, rational and full of hope that those we love, cheer for, cherish and admire can be safe, protected and be kept out of conditions that endanger their health and lives. Basically, the same wish applies for all of you. You are important. You matter.
A police barricade, massing troops against crowds and violence and looting are not going to beat COVID-19. Years ago, the Miami Police Department issued free buttons and bumper stickers that read:
Be a good person.
Those words are just as important today.
We will win this contest against COVID-19. We will see a "new normal" and I hope it brings a better understanding of just how precious life is and a desire to protect it and cherish it. I know, there are frustrations and concerns -- but, if you are reading this, remember:
You aren't one of the 110,000 that have died.
Continue to stay safe, remember our fallen and their families and show some compassion and understanding. Work toward solving the injustices that have plagued our society and let's eliminate those, just as we strive to eliminate this deadly virus.
Have a safe and healthy weekend. Be a good person.