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Listen kids, not everyone is a winner


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Roxanne Jones

August 18, 2015


(CNN)My son never played T-ball. And I absolutely refused to sign him up for the 6-and-under soccer and football leagues. All those kids running around like maniacs decked out in the latest sports gear, with lunatic parents screaming like they were at the Super Bowl, and well-meaning but confused volunteer coaches who know nothing about teaching skilled positions and even less about safety on the field.


The worst part of it all was that the Tiny Tots sports league coaches didn't even keep score. That's right. Nobody ever lost a game. The hair-brained philosophy in my quickly gentrifying Brooklyn neighborhood was to teach children that in sports, "everyone is a winner, a champion."


Any parent who even mentioned the "L" word aloud was nearly banned from the games. And at the end of the season, each child went home with a [garbage] trophy and bragging rights about their athletic feats. And they hadn't even won one game. There was no way my son was going to be a part of that farce.


So I am glad to hear that Pittsburgh Steeler James Harrison has come out against meaningless awards. Over the weekend, he revealed to his fans that he was returning the two sports "participation trophies" his sons, 8 and 6 years old, received for simply being on the team:



I came home to find out that my boys received two trophies for nothing, participation trophies! While I am very proud of my boys for everything they do and will encourage them till the day I die, these trophies will be given back until they EARN a real trophy. I'm sorry I'm not sorry for believing that everything in life should be earned and I'm not about to raise two boys to be men by making them believe that they are entitled to something just because they tried their best...cause sometimes your best is not enough, and that should drive you to want to do better...not cry and whine until somebody gives you something to shut u up and keep you happy. #harrisonfamilyvalues



Harrison's decision was spot on. What a crock it is to give out participation trophies.




It's refreshing to hear that from a professional athlete. Harrison, now 37, learned that during his long road to an NFL career. He walked on to his college team at Kent State, went undrafted in 2002 but did play in NFL Europe for a season. He was cut by his first NFL team, the Baltimore Ravens, before signing with Pittsburgh. And this preseason, Harrison finds himself fighting for a starting position.


Harrison is a man who understands just how difficult it is to win at life. And he knows that not every kid -- no matter how hard he tries -- will turn out to be the next LeBron.







This might be the reason why I (a 100Lb 14 year old) was never an NFL middle linebacker! Or it could be part of a giant PLOT to keep me down.

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