I’m sorry. I grew up playing sports and lived in a college dorm where hazing, and even bullying, were a slice of life. In retrospect, there was no place for any of it then and even less room for it now. And professional athletes, who are paid a gazillion dollars and serve as role models that every kid wants to emulate, need to grow up and take responsibility.
To have a group of men condone lavish $30,000 dinners that rookies have to pick up the tab for, as well as other physical and/or psychological bullying because it’s in some inner sanctum locker room, is unacceptable today. People are literally starving in this country and kids are shooting each other and taking their own lives because of bullying.
There’s two problems with bullying, or even hazing that tip toes to the line of bullying in today’s world. First, our social media world of texts, tweets, and wall posts magnifies everything over a thousand times. Information spreads like wildfire. What happens in private can become public literally to the world in seconds. Second, ask yourself if Jesus condones this? In case you have any hesitation or doubts in answering, the answer is clearly “NO” with a lot of exclamation points added.
How do I know what Jesus thinks about this? Simple. He left us with one command before he sacrificed his life for us—LOVE. It’s that simple, with no strings attached—LOVE. Is there truly any LOVE in bullying or even hazing? Really?
“This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you.” John 15:12
And Jesus railed against the biggest bullies of his day—the scribes and Pharisees. He stood up and publicly denounced them for what they were—hypocrites and bullies..
There’s nothing wrong with having a rookie carry a bunch of shoulder pads after practice or some friendly teammate banter. Unfortunately, in our high pressured society, where information is instantaneous and shooting someone is commonplace, we have to hold ourselves to a higher standard. The standard that Jesus gave us—LOVE!