Ethics Hero: Bo Jackson

It’s still early on Saturday morning and I’m not quite up to the hard stuff, but this post is easy.

Retired superstar athlete Bo Jackson, who had memorable if tragically shortened careers in both the NFL and Major League Baseball before his hip gave out, has revealed that he flew to Uvalde, Texas three days after the 18-year-old gunman carried out the massacre, donated $170,000 and offered to pay for all funeral expenses for the victim’s families.

Jackson has never been a spotlight hound, and apparently acted because he had spent time in the city and was familiar with it, and because he was touched by the tragedy. The only pro-athlete to be both an NFL and an MLB All-Star told the Associated Press, “I don’t know if it’s because I’m getting old…It’s just not right for parents to bury their kids — it’s just not right.”

Bo’s no deep thinker, he’s just a really, really nice guy and always has been. Ethics Alarms won’t even hold his pro forma “do something” statements against him, though such expressions of emotion do nothing to clarify issues and policies. When the news of the massacre broke on May 24, Jackson tweeted a plea for Americans to “stop all the nonsense.” That’s a pretty big order, Bo! Later, he added to the discussion: “This cannot continue.”

Whatever “this” is, it can and will. But people like to hear such meaningless pronouncements. Bo Jackson stands out because he actually put his money where his mouth is.

18 thoughts on “Ethics Hero: Bo Jackson

  1. I liked him when he was an active player, and I like him even better now. Heck, I even liked him when he declined being drafted by the Yankees so that he could go to college, as he had promised his mom.

    • Bo knows.

      My favorite Bo Jackson story: Someone said he hadn’t heard the sound the ball made coming off Bo’s bat since he’d heard Josh Gibson hit. Unfortunate he played football and ruined his body doing so.

      • It another of those ethics Catch-22’s. If Bo hadn’t been so equally talented as a baseball and football player and picked just one sport, he might have been an all-time great in one of them. By choosing to try to use all of his special talents, he robbed the world of both of them.

        • For a poor black kid from the South, I think football was simply unavoidable when he was college entry age. It’s just so foundational to the culture. Sure, he should have gone directly to the minors, but it’s just not how things go in the South. If anyone in his family had played baseball, it might could have happened.

        • Robbed the world? I don’t think so. Denied the world one more example of excellence in one sport? Maybe.
          But, inspired those who believe in the possibility of excellence in more than one area. Yep.
          We don’t know what we can accomplish until we try.

        • No one says, “This is a problem,” and asks, “What should we do about it?” It’s easier to say, “It’s all the guns! Get rid of the guns!” It’s a perfect dodge. You really expect anyone to say, “Hey! It’s all these guys aged sixteen to twenty-five who’ve been abandoned by their fathers and left to fend for themselves. Stop having all these out of wedlock kids! Let’s get some responsible fathers!” Nope. Can’t have that. What kind of government program would address that AND provide sinecures for the poverty industrial complex? Are you kidding? Fix a problem? Are you nuts?

        • Fool that I am, several years ago in a public school setting, in a discussion about support of single parents, I opined that we also should support the proven value (in child-rearing) of the nuclear family. That idea not only went exactly nowhere, several found the very idea offensive, apparently because of the implication that women weren’t up to that job.
          I do know single parents who are doing a fine job of raising kids, but they are the exception. And a lot of single parents really aren’t doing much parenting to begin with.

          • My Dad resented criticism of single-parent families, because he was raised in one, and his mother was devoted and fiercely responsible parent. She was not,however, the norm, as we tried to remind my father.

            • And of course, besides my father and uncles, my brother and I had, wait for it, our classmates’ and playmates’ other FATHERS as role models.

              • Great point on the family and neighborhood role models. A single parent surrounded by that would have a much greater chance of doing well with the kid(s).

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