Using A Platform for Change

Herbstreit calls on everyone to be better

Column by Collin Frazier


This might be a controversial topic, but I feel it is one that needs to be talked about in today’s world. Last Saturday, during ESPN’s College Gameday, Kirk Herbstreit gave a 3-minute speech on the racial injustices going on in our country today. Herbstreit discussed how people may be making demonstrations, boycotting events, but he asks what needs to be done next to bring about real change. He then discussed how when he hears stories of African Americans being oppressed, and being terrified by the police, it hurt him. So much so that discussing it on air moved him to tears, calling for everybody to be better, and have open arms to everyone. I was at work during my break when I watched the speech (on my phone?), and I started to get choked up when I listened to it.

I had then scrolled down to the comments, and unfortunately, I was not surprised that nearly every comment said that politics and sports should not mix and that the person was not going to watch sports anymore. I bet you the same people that said that will also be watching college football every single Saturday. I truly don’t understand why people complain about people using their platform to spread a message. If people have the ability to give a message of change and hope, they should use it. So many people watch sports, and when I see people using their platform to send a message, I understand why. The future generation is watching these sports, and they will hopefully accept the idea that changes need to happen.

Not only that, but those people on Twitter acting like they will never watch sports again (but 100% will), need to understand that just because it hasn’t happened to them, doesn’t mean it doesn’t happen.

I think of Atticus Finch’s quote from To Kill a Mockingbird, “You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view … until you climb into his skin and walk around in it.”

More people should live by this, in my opinion. People can get so caught up in their own thoughts and ideas that they fail to see something from someone else’s perspective. The more people see things from another’s perspective, it can allow for change to happen much easier

Much like Herbstreit, I cannot, nor will I probably ever, be able to relate to the stories of social injustice that I hear about more and more. It saddens me to say that but it is simply the truth. Even when I was at Ohio State my freshmen year, I never felt scared around an officer in an urban area. When I was pulled over last December for “going over the white line” (I think the officer wanted to bust a drunk driver, I was driving fine), I never felt scared that I could be shot and killed so close to my house. I grew up in a predominately white, conservative town, and we have never had any cases of social injustice that I can recall that made me distrust the police. But after too many deaths I have seen and little justice served, I feel that change needs to happen.

I wish I had the 100% right answer, but I don’t. Just like Herbstreit said, we have to be better. We all live on one planet, we are all destined to the same fate (death), we should not spend the little time we have on this world treating each other wrong. Love each other, and wear a mask.

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