Patrick Mathews | Thursday, March 3, 2011
Holden (“Non-athlete shirts,” Mar. 1) and Alex (“Prejudice runs deeper,” Mar. 2),
I appreciate your opinions, and you have both hit on major points in regards to the purpose of our shirt. The “IRISH Non-Athlete” t-shirt was created by Wabruda in direct response to many of the encounters that we as black males have had on this campus. While pseudo-justifications can be formulated in order to give “reason” to make premature assumptions, the fact of the matter remains that this is not the type of mindset that we should have as intellectuals. While Notre Dame is highly regarded as a sports hub, that idea should not overshadow the fact that we remain one of the leading academic institutions in the country. To assume someone’s identity without any prior knowledge of them goes against the inherent intellectual reputation that our school should stand for. This goes beyond labeling black males at Notre Dame athletes. The term student-athlete has been so watered down over the years that the two terms are hardly used in the same sentence anymore.
This is the problem we face. As hard as it may be for some to believe, intelligence is indeed colorblind. We are all individuals with our own accounts to share. At the end of the day, there is nothing wrong with being an athlete, but there is something wrong with making assumptions that take away the story that someone has to offer to the world.