Taking a page directly out of the Ricky Bobby book of parenting, Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker James Harrison is a firm believer that if you ain’t first, you’re last. Harrison posted on his Instagram account Saturday with a picture of two participation trophies his sons won for, as he put it “nothing.” Harrison added that he will return the trophies until his sons earn “real” ones.
Here’s the full text in Harrison’s post:
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
Because the Internet is not a place for compassion, a number of people on Facebook agreed with Harrison’s stance, citing, among other things, the tried and true pussification of America defense:
Never mind that participation trophies can serve as confidence builders for young children looking to get involved with sports:
Ultimately, it’s up to parents to understand the difference between an “attaboy” and entitlement. One comes from at least trying. The other does not. Besides, the worst thing about youth sports usually isn’t the participation trophy. It’s the parents who believe sports, all the way down to little league, are serious business and a microcosm for our society.
But who’s really confusing the effect of participation trophies and, say, winning a national championship or being selected to an All-Star game? Even children know those two things aren’t the same.
(Via James Harrison)