Letter to the World, by Scott Bittner
I can tell the world how much love I have for the many young African American players and others of color I’ve been lucky enough to coach. How if I was to list the many great kids I’ve been lucky enough to be around on a daily basis that many of them were kids of color. If I was tell you about the most impressive men we have had that many of them were people of color whether that be Afro American, Spanish, Asian or another so called minority.
Many of the players that bring you tears when their careers with us are over are kids from color. I thank you guys for being so unbelievable to coach and mentor I miss you guys more then you know.
I would also talk about my life long friendships with people from all different backgrounds. How I was lucky enough to have parents that taught us to not see color. Take each person whether black or white on an individual basis. How many of those friends of color have become some of my most successful friends I have. How those same friends have been there in times of need and times of celebration and continue to be. These are some of my best and most loyal friends each having a heart of gold and I love these guys like brothers not friends.
These guys have taught me that it is not the color of your skin but the quality of your heart and soul that matters. I thank each of you for that gift.
I could also relay to the world about they many great team mates I’ve had through my childhood and college careers and how many of them were of color. The brightest and funniest team mates I’ve had and many were of color. The guys that I spent some of my best years with and who could count on to see me as an athlete and not a white athlete. I miss all of my team mates immensely and many were black guys from very different back grounds. I loved every minute I spent with you guys!
I would also tell you about the many men of color that I have worked with and along side for the last 11 years. Many of the men that we are able to depend on the most are unbelievably caring and friendly men of color. Some of the best hello’s and small talk with genuine care are from the people of color I am lucky to work along side everyday. I have truly been lucky to see some of the most genuine, unselfish, and caring people at work and many of them are People of color. I thanks these people for being such unbelievable mentors to thousands of kids no matter the color over the years.
I could also tell you how the little boy that I love like my own is also a person of color. The boy that came into my life at 3 years old with the most beautiful heart and soul that has taught me a great deal about the meaning of love is a mixed bag of amazingness. I could also tell you how I married a beautiful wife that has a Jewish father. I could scream that my father in law (mother in law too!) is probably the most generous person I have ever met. How he is a Dr by trade but how he is a person that many less fortunate seem to rely on. Just amazing people no matter their background.
As a white American I am here to tell you that the reality is there are great and not so great in all different races and religions. Grow up and start seeing people for who they are and not what they are. Every human should be looked at in positive regard until that person proves they don’t deserve that from you, then you maturely move on and find another to be kind too. Being an athlete we didn’t see color in the locker room we saw brothers guys we could rely on, sports are great for this. I wish many others could experience this love of diversity.
I write this because we’ve got to do something, I’ve got to help other Americans to not see people in stereotypes but they see them for who they are. If I can convince one Caucasian to treat each person as they are and to wait until they see a persons insides before they judge then I may have helped hundreds that have interacted with that one person. If I could convince one person to go out of their way and be kind to everyone regardless of race or religion then I have helped. To this point I have been frustrated but I have not truly helped.
I would also encourage many of my friends to do the same. My white and black friends I encourage you to not stay out of this issue any longer, the world needs to hear our love for each other. If I or others that come from a different backgrounds have meant a lot to you shout it out loud. There are many people that are not full of hate and disregard for others but those people have to do more, we’ve got to be stronger then the negative people out there. We have to do more, my relationships mean to much to me to not be advocate for solidarity.
I truly hope I can influence some that may read this that love and kindness is the answer. In closing if you agree please share it and let’s start to make Love and Positivity the dominant way of life!!