I’ve heard plenty of stories about parents going on the offensive after they feel their son or daughter has been slighted in some way, but the story of Ervin Mears and his son, Mawusimensah takes the cake.
Mawusimensah Mears was booted off of his school’s track team in New Jersey on May 8th for several unexcused absences from track practice, which the family argues were due to a leg injury he had suffered and a death in the family.
Regardless, Ervin Mears is upset enough about the situation that he has filed a lawsuit seeking $40 million in damages — yes, $40 million — two varsity letters and championship jackets from the school since they took home a title this season.
The core of the lawsuit alleges that Mawusimensah Mears was submitted to “harassment and bullying” and that his ability was willfully being disregarded due to arguments between the younger Mears and his coach on what events he should participate in.
Ervin Mears even went so far to say that:
If he doesn’t qualify, then the clock will say he’s not fast enough. Let him get some exposure.
Participation in extracurricular activities is a right.
There is absolutely nothing at the core of amateur high school athletics that suggests either that a child should be given opportunity regardless of their talent level, or, more importantly that participating in athletics is a “right”.
High school athletic competition — when delivered correctly, that is — should be a microcosm of the real world each of these young men and women will soon face. A real world that doesn’t believe in a person’s “right” to opportunity, but rather demands that certain things are earned as a privilege and through hard work and dedication.
Extracurricular activities never have been, and never will be, a right.
Whether they should be is a debate for another day.
These activities are a privilege made available to those districts lucky enough to have the financial means to make them available to their students.
It’s a time where plenty of districts have gone to a pay-for-play model where every young person who wants to compete for their high school is required to pay a fee just to keep the programs afloat due to limited funding.
Suing for privilege and an exorbitant sum like $40 million doesn’t teach Mawusimensah Mears much, except that the way to right wrongs is to sue, whine, and try to dig compensation out of someone’s pocket.
This isn’t parenting, it’s just passing along a feeling of entitlement that will do no one any favors.
Maybe Ervin Mears instead should teach his son that life isn’t always sunshine and daffodils and achieving what you want comes from busting your butt, not whining when things don’t go your way.
H/T to Fox Sports.