Showing my work: The Rupp Arena column


I know, this isn’t high school. It’s no longer required that one show his work. But occasionally, it’s good to see how a piece evolves sometimes. And with one as, let’s say, as touchy as my opinion piece on a request to rename Rupp Arena, it can be instructive to see how a column might have changed or evolved during revision.

This is a time when a lot of thinking is evolving. And from time to time, I’ll share a look at the editing process here. This piece was self-edited, which is always a dangerous proposition. I also got editing help, as I often do, from WDRB assistant news director Jennifer Keeney.

This was, admittedly, a difficult column to write, because there is a great deal about Rupp that I admire — from a basketball standpoint. Yet I think the thing this column hopes to do is to at least ask ourselves what truly is important in setting people down in history. And I think it is important to ask ourselves — especially those of us who have not shared the experience of minorities in this country for decades on end — what effect some of these memorials have.

Since writing this column, I’ve seen a lot of racism veiled in paternalistic (or maternalistic) responses. A lot of knee-jerk opinions. And some real soul-searching by a few people.

One thing should be clear — this is not a sport. This is not a situation where you pick a team and root for it, for better or worse. This is life, and dialogue is important. Not just the spouting of opinions, of which we hear plenty. But the listening to the opinions and experience of others, of which we need more.