Letters

February 25, 2002

Mixed Message

How can SI write of Jason Kidd (above), "The father was black
and the mom white, but neither carried the bitter defensiveness
often seen in mixed-race couples"? Since it's seen so often, the
way this bitter defensiveness manifests itself must be easy to
spot. So help me out--should I get defensive about my white
race, my wife's African-American race or our mixed-race
coupling? Bitter? Color me baffled.
KEITH BARNES, Oakton, Va.

We Kidd You Not

Who's kiddin' whom? That was exactly what I thought after
reading about Jason Kidd (A Clean Start, Jan. 28). Those idyllic
family images were too contrived and too much. My husband and
kids have never joined me in the tub--at least not at the same
time! Oh, and that bare-chested From Here to Eternity shot of
the happy husband and wife was definitely over the top. The
spaghetti sauce rubbed into the apron bib and Jason in the
chef's hat made for nice p.r. too! But let's face it, the guy
punched his wife. All the Leave It to Beaver family portraits
ain't gonna change that.
STEPHANIE MITCHELL, Rock Hill, S.C.

Your folly in leading us to believe that everything is now O.K.
and that Kidd has struck his wife for the last time isn't
unthinkable, it's unconscionable. Better still, I think it's
This Week's Sign of the Apocalypse.
DAVID SCHULTZ, Albany, N.Y.

What an impressive man. He can pick up his own dirty clothes,
lead a team (which happens to be his job) and go the
"extraordinary" route of getting help to control his temper. By
the way, he punched his wife in the face--in front of their son.
I hope for T.J.'s sake Jason has learned a lesson.
DAN DOORLEY, Euclid, Ohio

If Joumana Kidd wants to forgive her husband for hitting her,
that's between her and him. However, by posing with--and fawning
over--Jason, making him look like father and husband of the
year, she gives a slap in the face to victims of domestic
violence everywhere.
PATA DIBINGA, Boston

In realizing that his silence was his flaw, Jason Kidd has
become a better man and perhaps an even better basketball
player. This piece should be required reading for every
introvert, athletic or not.
JOSH DRIMMER, New Haven, Conn.

I'm still waiting for an article on an NBA player who is married
to the mother of his kids--that is, all his kids--hasn't been
arrested for drunk driving or drug possession, hasn't gotten
into a public brawl or worse, beaten his wife or girlfriend,
and, just for kicks, graduated from college. While I wait, I'm
afraid I'll have to renew my subscription for a lot longer than
I plan to.
KATHY CONNORS, Medina, Wash.

All great athletes do not "carry the seed of cruelty," as S.L.
Price writes. Rather, some are able to rise above petty
rivalries and egos to a place in their own minds where it's only
about one's perfect best against the competition--whether that
be other athletes, Mother Nature or one's own demons. It seems
Kidd may be on his way to that place. That, if anything, will
make him a great athlete.
NICOLE KUIPER, Ann Arbor, Mich.

The Road to the Super Bowl

I disagree with Oakland linebacker William Thomas's statement
(Cool Customer, Jan. 28), "We didn't lose this game. It was
taken away from us." If the Raiders really deserved to win, they
would have played better throughout the entire 60 minutes
instead of just the first 50 minutes. Now Oakland fans can wait
another 25 years for a rematch, so that they can get a call in
their favor, as they did in 1976.
ANDREW F. HODGKINS, Hingham, Mass.

It's absurd to not rule a fumble when--even by the account of
NFL officials--Tom Brady was not trying to throw when he lost
the ball. Nearly 30 years ago the Raiders were beaten by the
Immaculate Reception. To that can now be added the Immaculate
Incompletion.
JOHN POFFENBARGER, Mukilteo, Wash.

A Rose by Any Other Name

As an Oklahoma State alum and fan, I was infuriated by the cheap
shots taken at my school by writer Grant Wahl (Hell Week, Jan.
28). Cowboys fans are among the classiest and most faithful in
the country, not the "foul-mouthed, leather-lunged fanatics--and
their husbands" he portrayed. Then he added injury to his
insults by mentioning "the hog farm stench that greets the
[Kansas] players when they arrive in Stillwater." In addition,
that the article came out the week of the one-year anniversary
of our school's tragic loss--in which two members of the
basketball team and six people in its traveling party died--only
makes the words seem much more brutal.
MARTHA WHITE, Union City, Okla.

Molder of Men

The statement (INSIDE COLLEGE BASKETBALL, Jan. 28) that
Georgia's Jim Harrick is the "favorite for national coach of the
year" should have been This Week's Sign of the Apocalypse. Since
when can a college coach's season be considered a success when
two of his players are under investigation for rape? So much for
a coach's responsibility to build character.
ROBERT MEYLAN, Pacific Palisades, Calif.

COLOR PHOTO: STEPHEN WILKES

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