Day by Day
Thursday, May 29, 2003
Bush's supporters retort that post-9/11 sympathy was ephemeral. At the end of the day, they argue, a strong America will attract more support than a weak one. In any case, France and Russia were determined to play the spoiler; it was the world that squandered America's goodwill, more than the other way around.
Probably, possibly, and maybe. It's all very complicated. But those arguments miss the larger point. The talk of squandering is fundamentally misconceived. Bush did not squander the world's goodwill. He spent it, which is not at all the same thing.
Again, I'm not suggesting that Nader's request of James was wrong. I'm just wondering why there's rarely a push for non-African-American athletes to develop an agenda that goes beyond on-field performance. Michael Jordan is vilified and deemed a coward for keeping his mouth shut on controversial social issues. I can't remember anyone wanting to probe Larry Bird's mind about anything more important than "tastes great" or "less filling."
Look no further than the PGA Tour. We in the media want Tiger Woods to be a freedom fighter of Nelson Mandela proportions. Woods, who is only one-fourth African-American, is expected to speak out against racism, sexism, war and Phil Mickelson's refusal to wear a manbro. Meanwhile, the Tour's non-Cablanasian players need only worry about their games.
ESPN.com - Page2 - What would Larry Bird say?