I would like to file a complaint with the Idaho Human Rights Commission against the administration of Boise State University and The State Board of Education. My complaint would be that the single most important diversity program at that institution has been marginalized and harmed over the past two years by the actions of authorities in our State and at The University.
I believe that the single best forum to learn respect and to teach the value of ethnic, racial, intellectual, and physical diversity is on the athletic fields, courts, tracks, and pools. Sports in general and college sports in this instance provide a platform for individuals who are different, to learn to respect and honor each other because of the individual skills and attributes that they bring to the table. This is always in athletics—even individual sports, done with a platform that provides a common focus with a goal of individual and team excellence.
Not in an auditorium where fake diversity training exercises are led by “diversity trainers”. Look at Boise State’s athletic teams—over 500 student-athletes from all over the country and the world representing white, Black Hispanics, Hawaiian, Oceanics, and several other groups. When practicing or competing against other schools teams learn to respect each other through work, sacrifice, and individual subjugation to the team’s effort and goal—which is always excellence. I had the privilege to play for 2 coaches who today are in The College Football Hall of Fame. Not once ever did I hear either of them talk about winning. They talked about what was needed to win, but the winning took care of itself. Focus, effort, work, abandonment of self. Not once did I see or hear about any action by a coach or fellow teammate that could be construed as being prejudicial or discriminatory. In any competitive environment, discrimination is irrelevant.
When a running back makes a touchdown or a linebacker or safety makes a great tackle teammates don’t care about a teammates skin color or “whose your daddy” If the same guys loaf or fail to block or tackle because of lack of effort they will be sure to hear about it from any and all of the team. Any competitive environment I have ever been in—sports, military, and medicine—hopefully my own family, has been a meritocracy. Only in those environments where merit can be replaced by a “privilege not earned” have I witnessed discrimination. That is because self -respect is what follows when one works for and realizes a goal.
The work of graduating with a STEM major for example requires learning to compete and perform. The skills that it takes to compete successfully in any endeavor create value, self-worth and self-respect. In many of today’s colleges, there are majors that leave one without a skill or without the ability to discern even simple problems and issues and then one must rely on others to show the way. In today’s world, the media oftentimes takes on this role.
In the last two years, Boise State has lost their wrestling team that just a few years ago was one of the best in the country. They have lost their baseball team that was just getting started, and they have lost their swimming team. What an absolute shame that students are being deprived of the lessons that only through working toward a common goal can be realized. And the byproduct of that common goal—That everybody is equal on the playing fields as long as they are willing to live up to their responsibilities and be accountable to themselves and each other.
An example that has unfortunately come to our attention in the BSU community is the blatant disrespect for the values that underlie concepts of equality and respect for diversity, was the firing of the Boise State football Chaplin. I understand that reinstatement is now being considered. The lack of respect for the coaches and especially the players is an example of an abject prejudice and bigotry that diversity programs are supposed to address. Please BSU administrators and State Board of Education, look at “the logs in your own eyes” before casting judgement about others.
Two points about the firing and the possible reinstatement of the BSU football Chaplain. Nobody on the coaching staff or on the football team was asked ahead of time about the actions that kept the Chaplain from accompanying the team. Not one. Talk about disrespect. 2. I am sure that this did not accelerate the process of coach Harsin finding another place to coach (Auburn). I am also sure that because of this specific demonstration of bigotry by the university against a Christian Chaplin coach Harsin would never accept a new job at a new institution where the administration would be allowed to act in such a prejudicial fashion. Prejudice is always disrespectful. When accompanied by disdain it is evil.
CONGRESS SHALL MAKE NO LAW RESPECTING THE ESTABLISHMENT OF RELIGION OR PROHIBITING THE FREE EXERCISE THEREOF
There was no conflict between church and State in this case—just outright prejudice and bigotry against a Christian Chaplain and a team composed of many Christian young men and coaches.
Shame on us if we don’t fight back.