Sports do not build character. They reveal it.
The phrase ‘boys will be boys’ has become synonymous for men getting away with unsuitable behavior such as the the ever-changing story of the alleged Rio robbery of four Olympic swimmers — Ryan Lochte, Gunnar Bentz, James Feigen, and Jack Conger.
The Rio Olympics spokesman Mario Andrada, showed the IOC isn’t too worried about the severity of Lochte and friends making up a robbery story that quickly stole the nation’s attention:
I do not regret having apologized. No apologies from [Lochte] or other athletes are needed. We have to understand that these kids came here to have fun. Let’s give these kids a break. Sometimes you make decisions that you later regret. They had fun, they made a mistake, life goes on.
That was the only negative story to come out a country that had a dangerous image prior to the Olympics. Why give them a pass, and not even require an apology?
This is not a case of boys will be boys.
But there are cases where boys should be boys, such as five-year-old Omran Daqneesh who was photographed sitting dazed and bloodied in the back of an ambulance after surviving a regime airstrike in Aleppo highlighting the desperation of the Syrian civil war.
He should not be covered head to toe with dust and disoriented. He should be playing with other kids his age, and I have to believe that is what the term boys will be boys was originally intended to convey.
Ryan Lochte can wordsmith the event all he wants, but the rest of us have to stop making excuses and exceptions for athletes. They should transition from boys to men just like everyone else.
Have a great week!
Tina Nocera, Founder