To the editor:
I am an avid sports fan and enjoy the time it gives me away from my own issues. On a recent weekend, I watched an ESPN interview with retired Lakers great Kobe Bryant. The commentators asked Bryant, “What is it like being back in civilian life?” Bryant answered the question in a professional manner, and this commentary is by no means directed toward him.
I come from a family of veterans who have served this country, police officers who have served the communities in which we have lived, and I am one myself. I have friends who have served and suffered in their service. I myself am dealing with my difficulties in the things that I have witnessed.
Someone returning to civilian life is someone who has served in uniform and put his or her life on the line. For us, it is an extremely difficult transition back to “civilian life.”
To take a sports figure, and granted an extremely talented one, and ask what it is to return to civilian life to me is not only an insult, but a disgrace.
I hold no ill will toward Bryant or any of the sports figures out there. This is directed toward the commentators, the media and the people in charge with their indiscretion and ignorance in this regard. These people know who they’re interviewing and the questions they are asking.
To equate someone who is making millions of dollars to play a game to someone who has to see and do and deal with things that no one would want is disturbing to me.
I have the utmost respect for most sports figures out there, but I would never compare them to those who serve and protect us.