This is from Nanci Kreidman of the Domestic Violence Action Center (stoptheviolence.org), in response to Monday's column about Al Noga's induction to the University of Hawaii Sports Circle of Honor. Most of you already "get it," but I encourage all to read her take on this:
These are always very interesting escapades …. selecting individuals for recognition, celebration and appreciation for their talent.
We have a ragged history with these selections. Heroes can be hard to find. The qualities that establish hero status are sometimes, in my view, totally off. Our political, faith based and celebrity landscape as well as our marketplace illustrate many examples of poor selections. The role models we hold up aren’t always what we make them out to be.
I can certainly understand why Al Noga hasn’t been selected for this honor before. It is said he has been held accountable, through the sentencing, or so we assume.
I am watching Leahey and Leahey right now. They were talking about your column and the talent displayed by Al Noga. The magic he displayed on the football field. Kanoa pondered whether he believes in a life sentence. Meaning, I assume, that he served his time, and so it may not be necessary to withhold the Honor.
Seems we are missing the point. Al Noga was not selected then for the honor, because he committed crimes, and violated one of, what I would consider a key rule. Number 5. It is pretty clear:
The nominee must exhibit strong moral character and discipline.
It is a good thing he has been working to get his life back in shape, and changing his behavior, while building his character. But does he deserve an honor for resuming a non-criminal lifestyle, and becoming a responsible member of his community? We want to lift people, recognize people who possess strong moral character and live a crime-free lifestyle. Not those who rebuild themselves to reverse failings of character. The celebration of that is a much more personal one. He can take pride in his personal accomplishments.
Our communities need good role models. Let’s find them. Let’s define what a good role model is. Our children need them. It is good for the community and it is a principle for building a safe future.
Thank you for contributing to the community discourse on this issue.