The firestorm that stole the headlines away from the Aaron Hernandez story last week has begun to subside just a bit. The Football Educator hates to belabor a point and in this particular instance felt the club should take the necessary steps for what’s best for the Philadelphia Eagles and their fans, and the rest of us should just take a few steps back and a couple deep breaths.
The feeding frenzy by anyone with a keypad, regardless of their knowledge or understanding of the situation was amazing. Having spent some time in the rooms where a lot of these opinions emanate from, I can tell you that it would be no surprise to me to see someone from this group pointing a finger one day and defending themselves for the very same mistake the next.
Handling the ripple effects
As someone interested in the ripple effects of team dynamics on mission accomplishment, I wanted to know how one could make this a learning experience for both the individual and the rest of the team? The overall debate of the offense is of no consequence to the team leaders, you can’t control another’s reactions (good or bad) to a situation. I can’t make you happy or angry, sad or excited.
Only YOU have control of your emotions and only YOU can choose how to express them. Anyone having that kind of power over another is deserving of deity, and I’ve yet to meet that person. What team leaders can do is take the time to teach and make sure that it doesn’t happen again. As I stated in my book Taking Your Team To The Top – How to build and manage great teams like the pros, every action leaders take with their teams should provide focus, ensure unity, give direction, and maintain excellence.
I turned to Gail Sideman of Publiside.com to get a professional’s take on how to handle the response to Riley Cooper’s racial rant.
Stupid happens. Just ask Riley Cooper.
Make no mistake about it. Eagles receiver Riley Cooper was caught in a swamp of stupid when a video of him berating an African-American security guard at a concert surfaced last week.
Like many, I wrestled with whether his comment was blatantly prejudice. He used the “n word,” an ugly, unseemly adjective that I wish would be never uttered again. Something makes me think that won’t happen, however. It’s a frequently used term in rap music, and it’s exchanged between African-American friends, almost as a feeling of endearment. That’s a far cry from the slavery-infused context in which it was used before school desegregation and equal opportunity laws.
Cooper was not among friends
An apparently inebriated Cooper used the negative racial term outside of the locker room and in a manner that sounded angry and aggressive toward a man who was simply trying to do his job.
As former Wisconsin Badger and Green Bay Packer, Gary Ellerson said on a Milwaukee radio show that he co-hosts, we don’t know what’s in Cooper’s heart. Is Cooper a racist, hateful individual? He says no, and many other African-American journalists and athletes said they believe him. Others suggested that he should have been dismissed from the Eagles squad immediately.
Gail Sideman is a self-described news hound that hustles to meet the needs of an ever-changing media universe. While the way that news is delivered has changed and expanded, Sideman insists that the basics and value of a great story are as entrenched in our desire to know, as ever. Stories that people want to share and hear, she says, is why delivery speed and social media has grown so popular.