Over the weekend, Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker James Harrison posted a bit of personal business to his Facebook page. SB Nation covered his post in detail here, but the upshot of Harrison's status update is that his two sons (ages 6 and 8) went to a sports camp put on by Next Level Athletics and received trophies (pretty large ones, at that) for participating in the camp.
When finding this out, Harrison took the trophies away, saying the following:
I'm not about to raise to 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
Naturally, this has raised plenty of discussion around the sports world over the past few days, and recently a pair of former Green Bay Packers have weighed in on the topic.
First up is wide receiver Donald Driver, who is squarely in Harrison's camp. In fact, he admits to following the same tactic as Harrison himself:
I love that. I've done the same thing. https://t.co/lanjWTHKfB— Donald Driver (@Donald_Driver80) August 17, 2015
On the other side of the coin is former Packers safety LeRoy Butler. While he does not necessarily take sides on whether the trophies themselves have value, he says that parents have a responsibility to know what the policies of their children's activities are in advance:
If you don't believe in it, don't sign your kid up to play,ask first the rules if they give awards to everyone, your welcome to leave— leroy butler (@leap36) August 18, 2015
Is there a middle ground here? Commenters on social media for all three of these current and former NFL stars indicate that there is support for both viewpoints in today's society.
Do you think that participation trophies for everyone cheapen the accomplishments of the high achievers? Or do you think that there's nothing wrong with acknowledging one's effort and participation, even if it does not lead to exemplary results? Let us know what you think in the comments (and please keep it civil).