Dear Donald Remy,

Donald Remy. “I hope you’re bad at your job” – above the law

Dear Donald Remy,

You recently said, “student-athletes are not employees within any definition of the National Labor Relations Act” and that there is no existing employment relationships between the “NCAA, its affiliated institutions or student-athletes. This union-backed attempt to turn student-athletes into employees undermines the purpose of college: an education. Student-athletes are not employees, and their participation in college sports is voluntary. We stand for all student-athletes, not just those the unions want to professionalize.

Where do I start? Congratulations for becoming the NCAA’s General Counsel? Do you really believe what you are saying is correct? Can can show us exactly how NCAA athletes do not meet the standards of being an employee? Or is simply stating it, as if it is a fact, enough? Are student-athletes employees of their individual universities? Isn’t your decision to work for the NCAA voluntary too? You don’t have to work there? Where do you think the revenue and money generated come from to pay your salary? Try to cut the line of connection to the players off if you would like, but it is impossible. Oh, are you saying “if you don’t like [playing college sports]..quit” to student-athletes? How many coaches enticed players to sign an agreement to play at their institution? Do you realize that you are taking on the voice of a legitimized criminal operation, see Antitrust violations such as price fixing? Can you see that not treating “student-athletes” like employees is like operating a sweat shop or other forms of oppression like slavery? A free education isn’t free if you are working (by playing a sport) to get it. Getting perks for playing is a distraction, not the value for what is deserved. But you take this position because you must think it is okay because “laws” can be construed and interpreted in a way to support your position–right?

Ultimately, change is coming. And you will regret these comments. Facts don’t seem to appeal to colleges and the NCAA, so there is no point is showing the much discussed facts. Turning to rules and policies created by those with the power, who are effectuating the injustice are not rules that should really be relied on, now should they? See Jim Crow laws. It’s why unions are formed!!! But, if you have a concept and appreciation for history you will know that change is inevitable. This NCAA system is going to change. With that, your comments seemingly lack insight and intelligence that you have. But, your comments definitely reflect your value system of doing whatever it takes for the money.

The NCAA has grown beyond the imagination of those who created it. Maybe not. But as the NCAA is currently, there must be a change to give justice to the players who are producing the blood, sweat, excitement, and other things that the Colleges and NCAA have made billions from unjustifiably without sharing an adequate piece of the pie with the players. Now, when players are seeking to level the playing field, here you come in your hired attack dog role. You lack vision and a moral compass. You’re why people don’t like lawyers.

Sincerely,

A former NCAA Div.-I athlete and lawyer

About My Pain

I trained for my own pain
believing it would be relieved in success,
such so to override the pain it took to get there,
yet never realizing that I trained for my own pain.

I am who I am. And it will be what it will be,
but I can’t see beyond the misery.
I made the me I am, for the dream of who I am,
yet unaware that I trained for my own pain.
The pain is freely given for those on this road, need no tarots for this is no
mystery.

Simply and shamelessly gullibly ignorantly oblivious to my training for for my own pain.
Not enough paint can paint the painting to my pain.
Can’t point the finger knowing I was the master of my slavery.

I trained for my pain to become a slave–unknowingly.
I’m the me I am that created the slave I am,
unnoticing the grave I’m digging for where I’ll lay one day.

Not sure how I didn’t realize that I was training for my own pain, yet a pain I didn’t train for, but no less adore.

Being a Token!

African Americans or Black people are many times considered as being a “token” in situations where they are the only one. But, I’m sure any minority can feel this way given the circumstances. These individuals find that in being a “token” they have to validate, disprove, or represent for an entire culture all while assimilating to another culture in order to gain acceptance. In this circus like balancing trick, that amounts to nothing more than the entertainment and easiness for others, those folks burdened with playing token never find themselves. My message is simple: Find yourself. 

Tokens are not tokens unless they decide to be. Tokens are the most visually unique person in the room. There is no need to call attention to it, or try to hide it. The unique qualities speak for themselves. Moreover, “tokens” or the only one of their kind, in the room, should not feel the need to conform. Especially since they never really will be able to conquer that conquest. And, those around them shouldn’t want them to either. It is understandable that having them take on certain cultural norms makes life easier for the rest, but no one, and i mean no one stops and considers that soul of the unique one. What about the ease for them and their cultural norms they may be forced to abandon? 

Bring yourself to the world, without having to worry about the skin the universe gave you. Bring your identity to those around you, not the other way around. Even though it is a give-and-take situation, you should be able to give something. Diversity is not just in sight, but in sound, personality, ideas, and more. Embrace your similarities and differences alike without fear of judgment and loneliness. 

 

rejection, losing, failure.

imagesApplying for jobs was once a humbling ordeal given all the rejection I’ve faced in the process. Now, I see rejection as par for the course in all that I do. Me being a fake philosopher and always trying to draw analogies, I see how rejection or failure is pervasive and necessary throughout life. I believe that failure, rejection, and hard times are necessary steps in order for me, and others, to: 1) actually know what success is; and 2) appreciate the success when it comes.  These feelings arise with Romantic relationships, sports, a professional or working career, business ventures, blogging, making and keeping friends etc. Some are on a different plane of thinking and have a Zen like view. Not every win is a win, not every loss is a loss. And we all aren’t the same. I can only speak for myself. But, I no longer treat my shortcomings as weight on my shoulders.
It may be obvious, but I just got another rejection letter. Strangely enough, I’m not feeling any sour or bitterness from it. All I know is I must keep on pushing. I know there are people who hate rejection and use it as a tool or motivation to work harder and prove their doubters wrong. I guess I feel the same way, I just don’t take it as a personal affront because “[they] know not what [they] do.” Alternatively, I think I see that I just need to work a bit harder and smarter while taking more risks.
Rejection, losing, and failure is not a new phenomenon for me. As a youngster,  I ran track, and I didn’t finish in first place all the time or in every event I competed in; and I missed out on qualifying for the higher levels of competition. But, it was informative. I had to learn how to cope then learn from my mistakes. The losing  told me I wasn’t good enough and I needed to work harder during the off season to improve. It was fun too. I relished the opportunity to compete again. I wasn’t the best basketball player everywhere I played and definitely not the best at every level.  I thought I was a beast, but not enough others felt the same. The teams I played for would lose games. A lot of games. There was a time when colleges coaches were not interested int recruiting me. At every chance,I had to keep proving my worth.
After college, agents didn’t want to sign me, and teams cut me, or just ignored me. Next thing you know, I took the LSAT and didn’t score very well. Thus, I had to attend a law school that wasn’t my dream school. Rejection letters came like clock work. Then, I had to compete in law school for A’s which never came. I had to take the bar more than once. Opening that email to find I failed was the most egregious pain that no one could prep me for. I feel like there was no greater failure in my life, to date. I have never been given the “ok” to relax, or given the feeling of accomplishment that says you don’t have to keep working harder and harder.
I’ve seen failure and rejection far too much. But, I am not worried about the next instance. I’ve been confronted with the feelings associated with losing frequently. But, here I am. And, all I can do is keep going. I have learned that continuing to push is far easier when you don’t harbor ill will or resentment or bitterness. I feel like I have a better understanding to the saying “roll with the punches.” The difference I will have to make is in the execution. And, I can’t just prepare. I have to prepare perfectly in order to have that perfect performance or outcome, so that when it is time to execute perfectly I will. Perfect Practice makes Perfect.