The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

Editorials

November 9, 2012

Readers' Forum 11-9 | ‘Sportsmanship: The only missing piece is you’

—  As the fall sports season comes to a close, and the winter sports season heats up, it’s important to remind everyone that good sportsmanship is a desirable reflection on you, your children and your school or league.

As a youth league baseball and softball umpire, I’m impressed at the fantastic job the coaches do teaching good sportsmanship, especially to those that young of an age.

However, the good sportsmanship  slowly disappears as the competition level goes up. I understand that, yes, we get caught up in the game when it’s close, but it goes too far when students start throwing punches and parents begin to shout obscenities from the stands.

No one should be ejected from any contest for unsportsmanlike conduct. It is preventable. Remember, when you act up in the stands or on the field, it only makes you and your school or league look bad.

I’m sure your child doesn’t want to say, “Yeah, that was my dad who got thrown out for acting like a fool.”

Think about how that makes children feel. Think about your image. Who wants to be associated with the guy who put down an innocent coach or child?

We can start a wave of sportsmanship. It begins with parents and coaches. Teach it!

The Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association has a nifty saying, and it’s worth remembering next time you go to a game of any level: “Sportsmanship: The only missing piece is you!”

London Graham

Johnstown

Freedom to choose a hallmark of America

I agree with the person who wrote that God is pro-choice in giving us a free will (Oct. 26, A. Lee Fenimore, “Pro-choice means you make decisions”).

President Obama is practicing that same principle. Let the people choose.

Making a law against anything never stopped anyone from murdering or stealing. Those who choose to do so, still will.

As far as abortions go, we see from the past that women who want to get abortions will find a way, whether there is a law against it or not. So it is better to keep them legal, safe and rare.

The intelligent choice should be made beforehand, not after. This is what sets us apart from animals. Animals cannot choose, they merely act on instinct.

Our choice is: Do I want to procreate or not? That is the choice on the table. Not: Should the baby’s life end? That choice should not even be on the table. The womb should be the safest place for a baby to be.

President George W. Bush was pro-life. Did that change anything?

No it did not.

Having the freedom to choose is the hallmark of America. God is all about freedom. America should be, too – freedom to act in an intelligent manner about choosing to use prevention or abstention over abortion.

No government should be allowed to force a woman to get an abortion, nor to stop her from getting one. That choice should be hers alone.

God gave Mary a choice. He did not force her to have Jesus. So he is pro-choice.

M.L. Evans

Johnstown

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