No, this isn’t a pile of horsehocky. In fact, some people say this pile of… used manufacture stuff… could save horses’ lives. Some people. However, that isn’t the issue anymore, is it? The issue is suddenly about all horses and how awfully they are treated. Horse racing kills horses, and that’s unethical and an abhorrent faction of our society that must be stopped. All of a sudden.
Now that last part isn’t quite true, but it sure seems that way doesn’t it? It is an interesting thing, the way news spreads and issues become important in our society. Groups like PETA have been around for decades, but suddenly Mike Vick fights dogs and that is their focal point, or Barbaro and Eight Bells die within two years of each other and horse racing is evil.
The way our society works is this: something happens and people overreact to it accordingly. Just look at the way we cover politics, sports, and entertainment. At this point, is there anything else? When the Red Sox play the Yankees the Four Letter runs around like Michael Jackson filming a Pepsi commercial. Indiana has a Democratic Primary and some guy is showing me a pool in someone’s backyard outside of Gary.
It sucks, but this is the world we live in. The fact of the matter is that although there is a huge buildup and overreaction to things, there are some issues up for debate at the root of it all. Even though PETA is a bunch of crazies and horse people are… horse people, the issue they both take sides in is at the very least important.
Horse racing is a dangerous and delicate sport. Animals are taken to the brink of their ability at the expense of humans, and while there is a history and beauty in it all, some aspects are inhumane to those that protest. It is unfortunate that it takes the horse to die to bring the issues to the forefront, but it is a rally event that will bring the respective sides to the public.
What is important to remember is that there are things to think about hidden between all the crazy. As with anything, you have to evaluate both sides and try to step back from it. Preferably, try not to wear a horse costume or compose a manifesto based on the evil of KFC while you do it.
The same should be said for a lot of things in the sporting world. Why is it only when Richard Zednik gets his throat slashed that suddenly neck guards should be mandatory? What about when a player that doesn’t wear a visor is struck in the face by a puck? It is only then that the issues of neck guards and visors are brought up, and even then there is some bias.
Why was there no concern that Chris Drury’s visor made his cut from Sunday worse than if he had worn only a helmet? What about all the concussions or other injuries suffered when a shield gets caught on the ledge of end boards? Things like this are ignored, but the next time Tim Connolly takes a check fighting for the puck the calls for shields and masks and inflatable air bags come from all sides.
These rally events, while creating quite the noisy ruckus, are actually very important. They are handpicked to bring attention to a cause, and I guess that’s the point. The ones that people want to matter will matter. So while many horses are put down throughout the course of a year, and countless injuries are both created and prevented with visors, you are only going to be taken aback by the ones that get people what they want.
So I think that’s the reason Marvin Harrison wielding a .50 caliber handgun isn’t major news: there is nothing outrageous to attach to it other than the mantra that you never know someone based on their public persona. The allegations attached to the wideout are only unexpected based on his demeanor, and there is no strip club or prior trouble making to attach to it and condemn.
Amazingly, .50 caliber handguns don’t fit the bill of shock and outrage, but a little strip of leather does. I guess it’s how you use it after all…