Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Respect pays off -- even in football

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Doug Brown doesn't flat out support hazing and bullying in his Nov. 12 column, Football the most primitive of sports, but he does say it is "the unwritten price tag rookies are asked to pay as a small tribute to the men they eventually replace."

As a Blue Bomber season-ticket holder, I recognize that football is an aggressive and violent sport, and, yes, some rookies will eventually take well-paying jobs from veterans. But that doesn't grant licence to senior players to abuse and humiliate newcomers to a team.

If veteran players want to be shown respect, they should first offer it to others, including to rookies; they will soon discover they will receive even more in return.

I should remind Brown we all are rookies at one time or another. It's a good bet he remembers his first days on the job at the Free Press. How he might have felt on his first visit to the cafeteria if senior writers had picked up their plates and left the room? That allegedly happened to one of the rookies of the Miami Dolphins.

No doubt, Brown would have been humiliated. But that, he argues, doesn't apply in football because "locker-rooms are not regular workplaces." Sorry, Mr. Brown, you don't seem to get it. The need for respect from fellow human beings cannot be left outside the locker-room door. It goes wherever one goes.

JOHN HARVARD

Winnipeg

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition November 13, 2013 A8

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