Posted by: husbandandfatheroffour | November 8, 2013

Why Is The Victim Becoming The Bad Guy? It Is Time To Put An End To All Bullying

I am a huge sports fan.  I played sports in high school and I love the fact that a couple of my kids are into sports.  The thrill of victory after a week of hard practice, the competitiveness of the game, and the bond you form with teammates are like nothing else.  When you have an athlete as a child you do tend to treat them a little different than your other children when they might fall down and get hurt.   Just as coaches do, you tend to tell them to get up, shake it off, and get back out there.  You want them to have mental toughness and to be able to play through a certain amount of physical pain.  That is just how it is when it comes to the sports world.  The problem is that everything has a limit and when we try to push over that limit is when someone could get seriously hurt – physically or mentally. 

I am sure a lot of you have heard about the Miami Dolphins situation down in Florida.  It is about one teammate thinking things against him have gone too far and he walked out when no one did anything to help better the situation.  All over the sports radio world you are hearing about how he should have kept it in-house.  Even the owner is reported to have said that he should have confronted this bully and punched him out.  Other players around the league are saying that he should have stepped up like a man and handled the situation instead of going to his agent or others.  Instead, after feeling pressure for so long and being harassed so much, he lost it.  What did he do?  He walked out on his teammates and his organization.  At first, people said he never told anyone, so it was his fault for not handling it. They said he was ‘soft’. They called him a quitter for walking out when he couldn’t take it any longer. Now that it has come out that he had gone to higher authority, people are calling him a rat and weak for not taking care of it himself.  So I ask; how has the victim in all of this now become the bad guy?

In this day and age when bullying is so prevalent we are trying to teach our kids when someone continuously harasses and bullies them they need to go to an authority figure to help them to get it to stop.  We are tired of seeing kids take their lives because someone thinks it is fun to harass and bully, or feels that they have the right to do it because they think they are stronger somehow.  We are teaching them that if they go to someone of authority that help will come and they will get the bullying to stop or the bully could face severe consequences.  We do not tell our kids to handle violence with violence.  We do not call our kids weak because they are being picked on.  We do not call them a quitter or soft when they walk away instead of fighting back. Instead we protect them and we try to do everything in our power to get it to stop.  We are even having laws changed so that bullies know there is more at stake then just a slap on the hand. 

So why is this so different just because this guy is an adult and in professional sports?  Why do we seem to think that just because he is ‘grown man’ that harassment and bullying can’t affect him?  Would the world have more sympathy for this guy if he would have come back into that facility with a gun and took out his aggressors?  Would people then say something like, “What he did was wrong but what they were doing to him was evil!  It is no wonder why he snapped.”  Or what if he would have left and killed himself?  Would we have had more sympathy then?  I guarantee if that would have happened people would have said things like, “I can not believe an organization let this happen!  I can not believe they didn’t do something to stop this!  They had the tools to help him but instead they did nothing and now he is dead!”  Are these the things that needed to happen for everyone/anyone to be on his side?

Just because we are adults does not mean we can’t be bullied.  Just because we are adults does not mean we can’t be hurt by words.  The old saying “sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me,” is a lie and we all know that.  Words can hurt and cut just as deep as a knife can.  Words can cause us to believe things about ourselves that aren’t true.  Words hurt every bit as much as sticks and stones, if not more, otherwise we wouldn’t have people killing themselves over what others say or how they treat them.  I have seen people get angry at being called names, I have seen people cry because of being called names, and I have seen people shut down because of being called names and they started to think it was true.  So, DO NOT tell me that just because we are adults that words do not hurt.  DO NOT tell me just because we are adults that we can not be bullied.  DO NOT tell me that just because we are adults we shouldn’t look to our authority figures to help get the harassment and bullying to stop.  And DO NOT tell me that just because this guy is a professional athlete that he should take a different route then what we are telling our kids to take. 

I know as a father it would not matter how old my child was, if they were being bullied I would expect the authority figures at their place of employment (no matter what kind of job they had) to step up and help if harassment and bulling were being reported to them.  I also, as an adult, friend, and father, have high expectations of others to step in when they see wrongdoing happening.  Do not let your fears silence you and allow the wrongdoing to keep going on.  It is not being a rat or a tattle-tale when the right thing to do to get something fixed or stopped is telling an authority figure.  It is not being a quitter when you decide to leave to get yourself out of a bad and demeaning situation.  It is NOT WEAK of us to ask for help if something is too far out of our control to handle alone.  It is however shameful that we call someone those names just because they are in a certain profession and/or are an adult. 

We can not tell our children one thing while we do another!  It is time to take the lessons we are teaching our kids and putting those into practice as adults.   It is time for us to stand up for what is right whether it is for our children or another adult.  We can no longer live in fear of repercussion of others if we know what we are standing up and fighting for is right.  Harassment and bullying at any age is not acceptable and it is time we started acting like that.  It is our moral obligation to put a stop to it!  Take that first step to stand up for others, even if you are afraid, because you will come to find that more people than you think will stand up with you. 

“It is curious that physical courage should be so common in the world and moral courage so rare.”  Mark Twain

“Courage is not the absence of fear, but rather the judgment that something else is more important than fear.”  Ambrose Redmoon



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