On My Soapbox: Think about who you’re talking about

This column represents the thoughts and opinions of Jason Hennington. This is NOT the opinion of the Taylor Press.

Taylor football has not been the best this season. Let’s be honest, the team has not been great over the last several years. That doesn’t mean people should fly off the handle with how they talk about the team.

If you caught the most recent episode of Around the Watercooler – which airs live every Thursday at 11-ish a.m. on the Taylor Press Facebook page – I personally addressed comments that have appeared on our live streams.

“Don’t come on our page and dog these kids.”

As a publisher, this is to help keep the negativity away from our page and keep the focus on the game.

As a former Taylor Duck athlete, this is to show support for my high school.

As a parent (although I have no Ducks on the pond), this is to basically say, “shut the hell up, and let the kids play and have fun.”

No, losing is not fun, but reading negative comments can shatter a kid’s confidence.

Supporting the kids that are playing – win, lose or draw – is how you build a culture. If the players know they have support, they will play harder. We as a community have to be that support.

My guest, Quincy Griffin, agreed and said we have just as much responsibility to build our culture as the kids playing do. He’s absolutely right, if we teach the younger generation to support, when they get older, they will support the next generation and so on.

There is a way to acknowledge mistakes, but it should be done in a constructive way. Instead of tearing a player down for a mistake, encourage them to do better.

Yes, I understand that sometimes players need some tough love, but there is a fine line between tough love and beating on them verbally.

It’s the same story for the coaches. They need to know that the parents and the community support them, no matter the climate.

I know the coaches are working hard to make the players better on and off the field. It hasn’t translated to a tremendous number of wins yet, but it’s on the horizon. The culture within the program is being rebuilt, so by the time the younger players are in high school, they will know what is expected of them.

The bottom line is supporting the players. Being an armchair quarterback for the NFL is one thing. They are professionals and they get paid a lot of money to play. They probably don’t care what you think or say. On the high school level, it’s the love for the game. Don’t take that away from them.

I’m going to get off my soapbox now and go watch some NBA teams I don’t really care for. But hey, I’m watching hoops.

“What you post online speaks volume about who you really are. Post with intention.”

― Germany Kent

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