Sunday, October 12, 2008

Tyson Chandler understands the common man


Tyson Chandler
gets what a lot of athletes can't seem to grasp.

The New Orleans Hornets center doesn't pretend to know a lot about politics. In fact, he clearly stated on his blog that he doesn't understand what a lot of politicians babble about (I'm with you, Tyson!).

But Chandler, 26, gets this: With the millions of dollars he's making, he can afford to pay higher taxes as a sacrifice for millions of others (no pun intended). Chandler attended a presidential candidate's rally in Indiana last Wednesday, and he came away overly impressed with the candidate.

I'm just as impressed with Chandler.

One reason for the divide between normal working-class Americans and professional athletes is the absurd difference in salaries. And athletes don't help themselves by greedily scrounging for that $67 million instead of $60 million. Average Americans making $35,000 a year shake their heads and turn off the tube.

Tyson Chandler is not one of those athletes. Hey, anyone has a right to their earnings and to vote accordingly (although, of course, there are many other issues to consider come election day). That's why lots of pro athletes vote Republican — so they can keep more of their millions.

There's nothing wrong with that.

But there's a lot right with what Chandler wrote on his blog. Chandler scribed how he might have to pay more taxes under a Barack Obama presidency, but he noted that all of his relatives would be helped by tax cuts. That's because Chandler is the only member of his extended family who makes more than $250,000.

It's a lot easier to make a decision — even a sacrifice — when you know it will benefit those whom you're close to. Chandler found that out at the rally in Indiana.

And, I'm positive, he earned a lot of fans in the process.

The more athletes like Chandler show they understand the everyday man's situation — and speak out about it — the less people will be turned off by their actions and words.

Who knows? Maybe down the line, Chandler will educate himself on the issues and turn politics into a passion.

In today's political climate, we'd be lucky to have such a man in a leadership role. And to think, he jumped straight for the NBA from high school.

Plus, at 7 feet 1 inch, he kinda stands out in a crowd.

1 comment:

Sportsattitude said...

Chandler could be a real role model and example for others of his generation to follow if he truly has this kind of interest and passion about issues off the court. David Stern's PR people should work hard to get activists in their league as much text and ink as possible. The league's players are often perceived as one-dimensional off the hardwood only because no one in the NBA loudly broadcasts those who are giving back to their communities and showing an interest in the common man and woman. Hip or cute commercials don't "break down" the essence of how deep some of these guys are...posts like yours do.