It's hard to know where to start in responding to P.A. Jensen's Dec. 12 commentary "For social justice, Coach Reeve should give up one of her jobs." His opinion is that if Minnesota Lynx Coach Cheryl Reeve truly believes in supporting women of color, she should quit one of her jobs (or her wife should) so a woman of color could have the opportunity Cheryl has worked so hard for her entire life.
Really? How about asking Geno Auriemma or one of the other male coaches predominant in NCAA women's basketball to resign so more women can coach women's teams? There are no female basketball head coaches in the NCAA men's game (about 1,000 teams) or in the NBA. Zero, nada. Currently, in the WNBA, there are six male and six female head coaches. Of the 30 NBA teams, none have a female head coach, and just seven have a female assistant coach. The score is 36 to 6 in terms of the professional basketball coach ratio of men to women. (These statistics are readily available by going to the NCAA, NBA and WNBA websites.)
The problem is not that Reeve is the Lynx head coach and general manager and the newly named head coach of the U.S. women's national team. Nor is the problem that her wife, Carley Knox, is the Lynx president of business operations. They are not taking jobs from women of color. Men are. Before Title IX was passed in 1972, 90% of head coaches for college women's teams were women. With Title IX and more money for women's sports, men stepped in. Division I athletic directors are 90% male, and they hire male coaches. That's human nature, and you can't ignore it. People are not fair. Men hire men in sports positions because that's who they are comfortable with.
Reeve has been enormously effective in promoting women and people of color. To say that she should be penalized for that at the height of her amazing career is ridiculous. And by the way, Mr. Jensen, very few coaches select their successor. With the new ownership of the Lynx, it is more likely a male will be hired to succeed Cheryl, whenever that does happen in the future.
Barb Lutz, Minneapolis
Dismay and more dismay over rejection of the common good
It is a sad reminder of how much the social contract has eroded in modern society that the CEOs of Minnesota's largest health care systems were compelled to take out a full-page add in last Sunday's Star Tribune begging Minnesotans to do our part to stop the spread of COVID-19. It is a message health care workers have been delivering for months, but it is somehow not being heard, or people believe the message does not apply to them as individuals. Our elected officials seem to be unwilling to put aside their petty political differences in the name of public safety and to save our health care system from collapse by putting restrictions such as mask mandates back in place.
The question, then, is whether we — as business owners, corporate CEOs and individual citizens — are willing to answer the call and abide by our social contract to act for the greater good? For all of us who prefer a less intrusive government with less regulation, this is our test, our opportunity to show that we are capable of self-regulation and doing the right thing.
The health care CEOs have asked publicly. I would love to see our local corporate CEOs answer in a similar fashion — tell the health care workers that we hear them, we respect them, we appreciate their being there for us when we need them, and we are going to return the favor by mandating mask-wearing in our stores by everyone no matter their vaccination status, by requiring physical distancing in our facilities, by mandating that our employees be vaccinated, by not traveling unless it is an absolute emergency, and taking any other steps necessary to heed the health care system's call for help.
We are blessed in Minnesota to have such a wonderful health care system. Let's show some appreciation and answer the call.
Jerry Johnson, Eden Prairie
I read the full-page letter from Minnesota's leading health care providers in last Sunday's Star Tribune. It was a thoughtful, compelling case for vaccinations. Unfortunately, now nearly two years into the COVID epidemic, there are likely to be few that are both persuadable and unvaccinated. And antivaxxers do not trust, or read, the mainstream media, such as the Star Tribune — although Kirk Cousins would probably have seen it, had it been placed in the Sports section.
James E. Nicholson, St. Louis Park
The Dec. 12 article "Peak danger point: Doctors and nurses see needless crisis" was heartbreaking — and maddening. The man who was at his wife's bedside in an ICU said he was still (!) not vaccinated because "I just don't want it." He said he was relying on faith and prayer to see his family through the pandemic. No. He's relying on the dedicated and exhausted doctors, nurses, respiratory therapists and care team to see his family through. How disrespectful. How destructive. As Dr. Greg Davis, an ICU director, said of stabilizing a patient: "You know what's easier than this? Getting two shots." Get two shots, people.
Betsy Spethmann, Dundas
I do not doubt the man's strong, genuine beliefs. But in all respect, refusing all available measures to protect one's health, and instead praying to a remote deity for a "miracle," isn't faith. It's superstition.
My faith in a merciful God tells me that I should not only believe in God but believe that our many blessings are gifts from God. Among those gifts is scientific knowledge, and dedicated scientists have used their God-given gifts to make actual miracles a reality. Those miracles include vaccines that can protect us and save us from needless death.
Saint Paul highlighted faith when he wrote that "these three things abide: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love."
I received my vaccination, and take other precautions, because of faith in the gifts and presence of God, out of hope for the future, and out of love: to protect others from the risks of a pandemic.
Patrick Hirigoyen, St. Paul
The missing ingredients: Compassion, humility
My parents' live-and-let-live mind-set and their heart for the underdog permeated my childhood home.
Despite this, I and my equally angsty teenage BFF played a mean-spirited prank on a vulnerable schoolmate — a prank that still troubles me now almost half a century later.
It is with this lens that I processed "A family's fight for acceptance" (Minnesota section, Dec. 12). I view the Concerned Parents of Hastings Facebook group and the Hastings religious leaders who are formally against the "promotion of transgenderism" as being as angsty and misguided as I was in perpetrating the prank on one of God's most vulnerable children.
Those of us who've witnessed firsthand the pain and trauma inflicted on a vulnerable loved one by so-called upstanding members of society are not worshipping at the "altar of social experimentation and political correctness." Rather, we hope against hope that more Christians might recognize and further Christ's heart for the underdog and the love-and-let-love examples he models in the Bible.
Cory Gideon Gunderson, Lakeville
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