When old people complain about the younger generation, they always like to bring up how the current generation of youngsters is a “trophy generation” who never had to work hard to accomplish something. Participation trophies are a slap in the face of the American ideals of making your own destiny and success by hustling your ass off. So even if you’re a die-hard Ravens fan, you have to admire the stance Steelers linebacker James Harrison is taking against the trophy generation.
Harrison posted the following on Instagram over the weekend about his children having to return their participation trophies:
“I came home to find out that my boys received two trophies for nothing, participation trophies! While I am very proud of my boys for everything they do and will encourage them till the day I die, these trophies will be given back until they EARN a real trophy. I’m sorry I’m not sorry for believing that everything in life should be earned and I’m not about to raise two boys to be men by making them believe that they are entitled to something just because they tried their best…cause sometimes your best is not enough, and that should drive you to want to do better…not cry and whine until somebody gives you something to shut u up and keep you happy. #harrisonfamilyvalues”
You have to applaud Harrison for standing up against the “everyone’s a winner!” attitude in youth sports. Dude is old school. Any attempt to instill some humility in the youth of America and battle against entitled attitudes is a step in the right direction.
Wonder if more pro athletes are going to start vocally speaking up against the participation trophy generation? Based on the response Harrison has received, it might be the next target in the youth sports crosshairs.
Then again, Harrison isn’t exactly NFL role model material. If Harrison’s domestic violence incident happened in 2015 and not in 2008, he probably wouldn’t have a career right now, much like Ray Rice.
[H/T: Bleacher Report]