Clippers’ owner lost his freedom

I have been hearing for years that we are losing our rights and freedoms. I just thought that was the rambling of cranky old people stuck in the past.

I should have started listening long ago.

The big news in the sports world is the supposed private conversation of Donald Sterling, owner of NBA’s Los Angeles Clippers in which he admitted to making remarks about his girlfriend bringing blacks to the games.

I am not a racist or a bigot. I don’t feel anyone should ever be made to feel less of a person for their heritage or race. That being said, when did we lose the right to have an opinion, especially when it was a one-on-one conversation?

I don’t think his girlfriend is forced to be with him. If she is offended by his remarks or attitude about whom she keeps company, that’s her issue to deal with.

Now the NBA commissioner, Adam Silver, is told he must take action. Now his opinion is taken away by the outcry of some irate fans. He is forced to do what is seen as politically correct.

Sterling will now be banned from the NBA forever, forced to sell his team and fined $2.5 million. Since when was Silver appointed judge, jury and executioner? The commissioner is taking away Sterling’s life and livelihood. If Sterling had told his girlfriend to stop associating with born-again Christians, would anyone had cared? I think not.

Some of you may think I am one of those grumpy old men stuck in the past, possibly. I feel I am just a true red-blooded American trying to protect the rights and freedoms so many came to this country and are still coming to find.

Wake up America, voice your opinion, hold tight to your freedom, cling to our First Amendment right. If we don’t, what do we lose next?

Jeff Long


Coaches should build up, not tear down

I have had the privilege of coaching many sports teams in my life from elementary school through college.

While I am sure I have made many mistakes, there is one thing that I have always remembered: Every player on every team is important. It doesn’t matter if they are the most skilled, or the least skilled.

The job as a coach is to bring out the best in every player and help them develop skills that will help them be a success in life. It is never a coach’s job to tear players down, to bully them, to purposefully embarrass them in front of teammates, or to steal their confidence.

I am discouraged by the trend that seems to have been started in junior high and high school sports where coaches use these tactics to get players they would rather not deal with to quit.

Obviously, hard decisions have to be made, and sometimes players will leave hurt. Make that an exception, not the norm.

Remember, coaches have an influence on every life. Make it a positive one.

Elizabeth Campbell


Special honor, special weekend

I would like to take to acknowledge all those involved with 2014 Blair County Sports Hall of Fame.

There’s no way to know all of their names and affiliations, but they should know that their efforts were very much appreciated.

I am especially thankful to all those who nominated the 1966-67 Bishop Guilfoyle PCIAA state champions and for their vigilance of seeing it to fruition.

Coach Bill Gaffey and his staff brought three sophomores along for such a marvelous ride, and, thankfully, I was one of them. We were accepted us sophomores as a part of that great team.

The BG pep band inspired the team to victories and last, but certainly not least, the Marauder supporters (family, friends, cheerleaders, mascot and all the fans) stood behind us and kept us strong.

God bless everyone for a Blair County Sports Hall of Fame weekend that topped off that wonderful championship ride.

Thom Geishauser