Athletes are not chattel. They are not another form of entertainment like our TVs, smartphones or other devices.
They do not belong to us; at least not in the way we often treat them. Athletes belong to us and with us as husbands, wives, sons, daughters, uncles and aunts. They are members of our community, our region and our nation.
Athletes have the same rights, responsibilities. and privileges as anyone else. They are not puppets or some version of the “See-and-Say” toy from yesteryear.
Despite what we may imagine, making millions of dollars or playing in front of thousands in a stadium and millions of people at home does not negate their humanity.
Athletes are people, too. How far have we sunk where this has become a necessary statement?