Whats the use? That’s the most common sentiment felt when a fan comes up against perceived injustice. I felt the same, until I received a tweet from a guy who may be a bigger Allen Iverson fan than I am.
I say perceived because as a fan we don’t always know the full side of the story and it’s presumptuous to just jump on a bandwagon of a cause. But when one is sufficiently convinced, we should sound our voice loud and clear. Normally when something gets my goat I write about it. I’ve written about the Plight of the Paralympic athletes which explains how they aren’t getting proper support at the Paralympic games and how their performance has dipped as a result.
I’ve also written about Allen Iverson not being able to get on an NBA team. He is not on an NBA team in spite of being a year younger than Steve Nash. I’ve minutely rehashed this issue, all his issues in fact in a 9000 word article on him, explaining why him not being in the league has nothing to do with his game and is mostly about the stick he gets. I wanted to do something about him not being in the league, so I poured it out through my work: The baggage of Allen Iverson: Both sides of his iusses.
Sports fans have a lot to get indignant about at any given time. Football hooliganism is one common way to get loud and say something. But there are other ways to sound your opinion and draw attention to a cause, besides writing about them or getting down on the streets.
Signing a petition is one peaceful nonviolent way. Virtual protest in the streets with signboards. Here are two causes I have recently signed up for.
Let Allen Iverson in the NBA
I didn’t blink before signing this following petition, even though I don’t know how it will help. At the least I can show my support for the man who taught me a lot about basketball and about life too.
And if you look at the reception, the thunderous ovation he received when he briefly took to the court in Philadelphia to deliver the game ball, you will know how popular he is.
Said Larry Brown, former coach of Iverson “I wish some team would sign him. He deserves it. He should get to go to every arena, hear his name announced and wallow in the cheers of the crowd, and then retire.”
I truly hope that dream comes true. So I’ve put my name down on this petition.
Indian Paralympic Athletes not getting their due
Couple of days ago I signed up on Change.org to sign a petition for Allen Iverson’s comeback in the NBA. Two days later I received a heartfelt email on behalf of Farman Basha, Arjuna Awardee and a Paralympic athlete from Chance.org:
I am writing to you from the 2012 London Paralympics Games village. I am affected with polio, but I have been Power-lifting since 2000. I was even honoured with the Arjuna Award
My wife, Antonia sold her jewellery so I could represent India at the Games. She was also supposed to help me get my way around events. She’s my soulmate and I owe my success to her.
Sadly, today she’s stranded outside the games village, because Paralympic Committee of India (PCI) members are using the free facilities meant for athletes and their support staff.
Thats why I started a petition on Change.org telling Sports Minister Ajay Maken to take strict action against PCI members for their conduct and derecognise the body altogether. http://www.change.org/en-IN/petitions/minister-of-sports-india-stop-treating-indian-paralympians-as-second-class-citizens
Even my coach, Sadanand Malashetti, who has trained me for years now, couldn’t access the Games Village even though his name was in the list of attendees provided by the Indian Govt.
The actions of the PCI members have humiliated me and my fellow athletes.
Prior to the event, I was lifting 170 kg in the 48kg class. When I was informed that my coach and wife would not be allowed to enter the games village my performance was badly affected and I couldn’t even lift 148 kgs.
Overcoming these difficulties, after a lot of hard-work and under emotional trauma, I managed to get 5th place in the powerlifting event. After the event when I asked for a pass for my wife who is legally my escort, I was denied the pass since the PCI wanted to punish me for complaining against them.
Join me in helping Indian paralympic players get the recognition they deserve. Tell Ajay Maken, the Minister of Sports to take strict action against the corrupt practices of Paralympic Committee of India. Sign this petition.
Thanks in advance for taking action,
Although his name was spelled wrong there, I have no reason to believe it’s not written by him. I got in touch with Pradeep Raj, Para Athelete, Member of Disabled rights group. He is the man who has driven the petition. He told me that this is an old issue with the PCI and the athletes, and this latest incident is one of the many which have occurred in the past. The PCI was derecognized earlier, and then again it has been formed. You can make a difference here. If you believe in the cause, sign the petition, once it reaches 10000, Pradeep shall get it across to Ajay Maken, Sports Minister of India. Hope the issue is addressed soon.
You maybe thinking that it’s just a knee jerk reaction to sign a petition. I thought that way too.
What actions like these can do is show that there is a huge number behind a cause. Reaching 10000 signatures won’t automatically right the wrongs. But it will at the very least draw attention to these causes. And that is the first step towards making a change, make people aware that there is a cause to stand for.
Something bothers you as a sports fan? Maybe there are others who feel the same and you are not alone. Take a look around and make a difference.