This letter was emailed to Mokena Patch staff by the Patch commenter "Momof4" as a response to the article "Burros Athletic Director Bans Pink Uniform Accents." It is published with the author's permission.
First, let me say that I have been a Burro parent since 1994, a medical professional that has provided care, held hands, hugged patients and their family members and watched them die.
I have also had my immediate family impacted by Breast Cancer, Colon Cancer, Ovarian Cancer and Lung Cancer. I have lost parents, friends and other family members to this terrible disease and have a close family friend losing her battle as we speak. You won't find a bigger patient advocate than me.
But with that said, I think we have severely lost focus here.
The Mokena Burros is a youth football program. It is not a platform for our personal causes and beliefs. We have gotten so caught up in the commercialism that is sometimes in the name of support that we have failed to look at the bigger picture.
I am thrilled beyond words that the athletic community has decided to use their platform to draw attention and spend money on something this devastating, but we have to remember that all of the money spent on spikes, socks, Under Armour, wrist bands etc. is not going directly to the Cancer funds.
We could actually make a bigger impact if we took the money spent on those items and made direct donations in the name of friends and family that have been affected. Wouldn’t that be a great lesson to teach our children?
If we want to teach our children about cancer awareness, introduce them to someone fighting for their life, have them mow their lawn, clean their house, shovel a sidewalk, cook a meal, walk their dog. Have them donate half of their allowance to a charity of their choice.
Some of you mention that your child is being held back from expressing his feelings on Breast Cancer Awareness, I would have to say that if you lined up 10 kids from each team and asked them if they wanted to buy and wear the pink gear and why, most would say because it’s cool.
Also, remember that there are kids on your child’s own team that may not be able to afford any of the flashy pink gear. How will it impact them if they feel left out?
Sal is the A.D. He holds an un-paid, elected position. Believe me when I say that there was plenty of discussion with coaches in the beginning of the season regarding this matter. I met Sal a few years ago when my son played for him. My husband and I have both been coached youth sports, my husband for the last 22 years. My husband has coached many of your kids. Sal is in this for the right reason, he truly cares about the kids.
Those of us that still have old-school beliefs are becoming the minority in the sea of “Daddy-Ballers”. It is a shame to see parents and coaches that don’t get their way then leave the program or quit being board members and making this about them. Sal and the other members of the board don’t put all of this personal time in for ego or pay. They all have thankless jobs, but they do it for OUR kids.
Please remember there are other lessons to teach our children here. We live in this world with other people, with other ideas, beliefs and values. We aren’t always going to agree. But as adults we also know that we can’t stomp our feet, quit our jobs or cry every time we have rules, bosses, co-workers that we don’t like.
Please, please, please, try to remember what youth sport are supposed to be about. Remember that the kids are supposed to be learning to be part of a team, to be proud and united, to have fun with their friends. We need to stop making all of this about the adults.
Let the kids be kids, they will have plenty of time to learn about the trials and tragedies of adulthood later on.
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