Dewayne Dedmon is a prime example of how emotional abuse can influence a child's development. We should all be thankful that this young man had the courage to escape an environment that threatened his ability to think independently and was able to resist falling prey to the lure of drugs and crime in order to follow the best master of all: his conscience.
This is an article from the Dec. 5, 2011 issue
Joe Walsh, Farmington, Conn.
Reading Chris Ballard's article (Dewayne Dedmon's Leap of Faith, Nov. 14) made me angry. I find it unfathomable that a mother would rather see her child struggle, with no education or career goals, than live his dreams and prosper. Parents are supposed to guide their children and support their positive endeavors, not hinder them. I hope Dedmon can continue to be strong and follow his passions.
Melissa Griffin, Romulus, Mich.
It seems Dedmon has intuitively figured out that following his faith does not mean he has to subjugate his joy for life. Basketball seems to exalt his zest for life. Gail Lewis's problem lies in her literal interpretation of the scripture, which only leaves her disappointed and disillusioned with her son and his goals. Obviously, Dedmon is much more grounded and mature than his mother gives him credit for.
Del R. Aube, Bedford, N.H.
Forgotten in the adoration of Magic Johnson's "beating" HIV (SCORECARD, Nov. 14) is the fact that he became HIV positive due to his own hubris. At the time of his announcement it was well known that unprotected sex was a huge factor in the explosive way in which HIV was spread, yet Johnson was still careless. While a spectacular player with a dynamic personality, Johnson's casual sexual behavior could have destroyed many lives.
Bert Bergen, Dana Point, Calif.
Ground and Pound
The first sentence in your subheadline from your story about the LSU-Alabama game (Still the One, Nov. 14) reads, "An instant classic it was not." I have to ask, What game were you guys watching? That was the most intense, hard-hitting and exciting football game I've seen in a long time. True gridiron fans know that defense and collisions are what make football great. Pads crunching, bodies colliding, ground and pound, that's what we live for.
Luke Meighan, Lexington, Ky.
Phil Taylor's column on the horrific scandal at Penn State (POINT AFTER, Nov. 14) was well-crafted and insightful. As a proud Penn State alum, I was embarrassed watching Joe Paterno hold an impromptu pep rally on his front lawn, leading well-wishers in a "We are Penn State" chant that, in the aftermath, rings incredibly hollow. If Joe wants to help the students, the alumni and the victims and their families begin the daunting process of healing, perhaps his new mantra should begin with, "This is who we really were, and this is how it happened."
Dan Mallon, Langhorne, Pa.
I agree with Taylor's assessment that a "cover-up culture pervades big-time college sports." However, this culture is not limited to college sports. All one has to do is look at the massive child sex abuse cover-up that took place at the highest levels of the Catholic church to see that this problem is all around us.
Jeremy Medovoy, Bethesda, Md.
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Should the NFL order Ndamukong Suh to take anger management classes to help control his temper?
Gracey Howard: I think he needs some kind of assistance. His conduct in the game against the Packers was one of the worst displays of sportsmanship I have ever seen. There was genuine anger behind his attack.
Chris Gilland (@c_gilland): I'm not so sure. There is a fine line between playing with anger and playing with passion, and while some counseling might be good for Suh, I don't think mandatory anger management will remove his passion for game.
Zack Adams: Absolutely. This kid apparently has no self-control and has quickly become an embarrassment to himself, his team and the entire NFL. He shouldn't play another down until he can prove he knows how to conduct himself like a man and not a petulant child.
C Jay Jones: What do you expect on the field? It's NFL football. There are other players out there who have been aggressive and who have done things in games similar to what Suh did with no outcry, so why is he all of a sudden the main target of the blacklash?