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by Laramie Boyd
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USA Today sports writer Christine Brennan believes that Madison Bumgarner, as a choice
for Sportsman of the Year by Sports Illustrated magazine, was a mistake. As you recall, Madison pitched brilliantly in the World Series
this year and was voted the Most Valuable Player. And baseball is the national pastime. Christine believes leaders in the movement
to strike down domestic violence, or racial prejudice in professional sports, might have been considered ahead of Bumgarner. She would
have liked those who spoke against Vladimir Putin's stance on gays, like Ashley Wagner, or the professional athletes who came out
of the closet, like Michael Sam of pro football, or Brian Boitano of Olympic skating, higher on the list of candidates for Sportsman
of the Year. She would also have favored Mo'ne Davis, the girl who pitched in the Little League World Series, or NBA Commissioner
Adam Silver, for booting Donald Sterling out of baseball, or maybe the great Billie Jean King of tennis, a supporter of gay athletes
in all sports.
Christine believes the Sportsman of the Year should have at least
hung out with tennis great Serena Williams, maybe led conversations about concussions in youth and pro sports, or promoted race relations.
Or they should have been involved in setting up the College Football Playoffs, or been instrumental in trying to get the name Washington
Redskins changed by owner Dan Snyder.
I don't know about you, but doesn't Christie Brennan
know that, even though these qualifications are formidable indeed, any person who had done all the things she described would have
already been sainted, knighted, and made President of the United States a long time ago, besides getting Nobel prizes and maybe even
Congressional Medals of Honor. Madison Bumgarner is a baseball player, a great one, and the Sports Illustrated magazine chose him.
Case closed. Christine should give him a break. She should insult the rioters, and looters, and the arsonists of the country, and
those who spread bigotry and hate in the media, not this young Baptist boy from Hickory, North Carolina, who grew up in the log cabin
his father built. Doesn't she have bigger fish to fry? Maybe Sports Illustrated doesn't take "social upheaval," even though it surely
is taking place, into consideration in their selection of Sportsman of the Year. And the fact that she thinks it should be sounds
to me like just another soap box effort to preach her personal social agenda where it doesn't belong.