I am responding to the April 11 column by Ashley Brown. I am appalled that Brown chose to bring this situation to the attention of the public. Michael Hester's business is private until his family chooses to make it public. The fact that there are posts on a message board does not give Brown the right to publicize the incident.
The "Vent" is not a well-known site, so the general public is probably unaware of it. Sure, people use the "Vent" to post negative comments anonymously. Brown fails to take into account that the "average guy" does not have access to the press and posting to a message board is a way of voicing concerns.
I am shocked that The News-Times allowed Brown to pull a PR stunt at the expense of a child. Writing an article containing the name of a young man on the front page of the sports section is reprehensible and shows poor judgment.
If he is not willing to get both sides of the story, Brown needs to refrain from using the newspaper as a way of defending his friend. Brown states in his column that (Greenbrier baseball coach) Rodney Holder has class. I would like to tell Brown just how classy his friend is.
For the last four years, my son has experienced the subtle intimidation tactics of two coaches at Greenbrier High School. As a sophomore he had the opportunity to take over as quarterback after the starter was hurt. He played quite a bit that year. At the sports banquet, Holder "forgot" to call my son's name despite his contribution to the team. Although he was aware of his mistake, Holder didn't have the "class" to make it right; a subtle but effective means of intimidation.
My son was a back-up quarterback until his senior year. Anyone who has seen my son play quarterback knows that what he lacks in height, he makes up in heart. When my son was a senior, Holder coached the quarterbacks. My son was not even considered as quarterback. In fact, he had to move to defense if he wanted to play. Fortunately, the defensive coordinator had the "class" to give my son the opportunity to play safety, a position he had never played before.
In fact, he did so well that Ashley Brown commended him in a column. When asked if he had congratulated my son on the column, Holder said it was not his job. Holder sees my son everyday and could not muster up the words to congratulate him on an overdue mention in the local newspaper. Now that's class, Ashley Brown.
I'm sure Holder can be a nice man, but what matters is how he performs his duties as an educator and coach. He has repeatedly singled out players, subjected them to ridicule and mockery, and has even used excessive physical exercise as punishment. My son has been screamed at, called a "little liar" and cursed at by Greenbrier coaches. It's one thing when a coach treats everyone on the team the same, but to single out a player is bullying. ...
Frankly, I don't care whether a coach likes my son as long as he is treated the same as everyone else. With the caliber of baseball players at Greenbrier High School, there certainly needs to be an objective way to cut players during tryouts and policies in place to dismiss those players that break rules.
One hot-headed coach should not have the ability to remove players without taking appropriate steps to allow the player to redeem his or herself. ...
Shame on Brown for bringing what should have been a private matter to public light. I could understand it if Hester's parents had addressed the issue publicly, but they have handled the situation as honorably as possible. There are 20 or so people who know what happened on that day, and I don't think Brown was one of them.
Give us the news, Mr. Brown, and color it however you like. But please present both sides.
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