College athletes are real people. How about we start there.
I’m not saying that to make excuses for them, but rather to confess I don’t always think of them that way. I sometimes see them only in the roles they play on espn. That may be especially true concerning women athletes, because I relate even less to their everyday lives and their college experience.
When they falter, it can be easy to simply move them from one-dimensional to two—athlete plus criminal.
Let’s not make that mistake. Let’s keep in mind that this unfortunate news has context we’ll never know, and implications for these women beyond their connection to Auburn University.
That’s not to say we shouldn’t be disappointed. When a student puts on the uniform, he or she takes on an ambassador role. They represent the school and the Auburn Family. Did they let us down? In that regard, yes. Real people do that on occasion.
What’s less common is to respond with humility, and to show grace. Let’s be uncommon in our support, for the athlete, the student and the person.