Professor Stock to athletes: ‘There are many ways to be a hero’
For high school and college seniors, the cancellation of winter sports championships and entire spring seasons is “a particularly bitter pill. But it is also an opportunity,” Professor Catherine McNicol Stock writes in a Hartford Courant opinion piece.
“It is all too rare in the United States today for young people—or any of us—to be asked to sacrifice on behalf of the common good or a common goal. This was the lived experience of the ‘greatest generation,’ not the boomers, Generation X, millennials or Generation Z. And yet, here it is,” writes Stock, the Barbara Zaccheo Kohn '72 Professor of History.
Stock points out that the cancellation of sporting events isn’t completely unprecedented in our lifetimes. No collegiate athletic contests were played in New Orleans in the fall after Hurricane Katrina, and many college and professional teams suspended play in the wake of the 9/11 attacks.
Still, the abrupt end to a senior’s athletic career, without “a senior game to celebrate, or a career’s worth of stats to calculate,” is devastating to many. Stock admits that if she were a parent of a senior this spring, “I would be inconsolable.”
“But staying calm in the face of the end of a season so that the nation can mitigate this epidemic … is an achievement far greater than anything that can be done on the field,” Stock writes.
“Time for players and all of us to step up to the plate and recognize that we must sacrifice for the common good. There are many ways to be a hero.”
Read the op-ed.