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Shaw’s redemption song


Andi Thornhill

Shaw’s redemption song

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REMORSE?IS?the first step on the pathway to any form of redemption.
After all, no human being is perfect and we will all make mistakes from time to time. Admittedly, sometimes some mistakes come with a greater price than others. Some of us are able to rebound while others simply fall by the wayside.
The Tremaine Shaw story is perhaps symbolic of this concept and he is now ready to resume his young basketball career in 2015.
Competition in contact sports is very instinctive and things can happen in the heat of the moment that aren’t necessarily premeditated. However, we then have to live with the consequences of our actions.
On the other hand, it is to our benefit to sit down and reflect after the emotional rivers are dried up and analyze our actions and reach the objective conclusions that will create a new stream of life.
It takes a big person to do this and then admit that they may have contributed to any negative fallout in a particular situation.
But it takes an even bigger person to say sorry and beg for a second chance. This opens the way for those who are at the seat of justice to consider all matters and use their discretion in determining how an accused should be dealt with.
This seems to have been the course taken and I am among those who are happy that the basketball authorities have seen it fit to redeem Shaw by reviewing his lifetime ban and reducing it to a more compassionate and reasonable sentence.
It would have been extremely harsh that one moment of impulse should cost him a career in a discipline that he obviously loves with unwavering passion.
I am not suggesting for a second that he was right to physically assault another player on a basketball court, because wrong is wrong, even if we feel at a particular moment that we were justified to retaliate because of the pressures of circumstance.
So, in Shaw’s case he committed an unsavoury act, was tried and convicted. The question always was, though, whether the sentence was justified. At the time many people believed it was too harsh.
We should also take note of the fact that members of the opposing club involved in the fracas sought mitigation on Shaw’s behalf and that had to be significant in the review of his punishment.
I would like to point out that those who are in a position to discipline others are also human and they too might on occasions come to conclusions highly influenced by emotions and that is perhaps the worst time to pass judgement on others.
There is a distinct possibility that their own judgement can be flawed depending on how much publicity the case was given and public expectations on what the outcome should be. This could induce additional pressures to make a decision that pleases the majority.
Again, I’m not stating emphatically that that was the situation in Shaw’s case but the possibility exists because of the human factor involved.
Not only that, I think those who sanctioned him must have asked themselves in a quiet moment what would happen to someone so young if he wasn’t permitted any longer to be constructively engaged in something he loves doing.
Would it rest on their conscience if, God forbid, Shaw allowed the devil to find work for his idle hands and bad got worse?
While we should never encourage indiscipline in any form we must also assess the possible consequences for someone’s life especially if that person didn’t commit an offence worthy of an extravagant punishment.
It’s enough to say that Shaw showed remorse and has been given a second chance to resume playing much sooner than he anticipated.
On another matter, I hope the basketball authorities seek opportunities to find competition for our national teams even though this year’s Caribbean Championships have been cancelled. Maybe, a weekend two-match series against one of our Caribbean neighbours can be arranged.
No national team should go a year without tasting competition that can serve to indicate where they are at on the developmental scale.
• Andi Thornhill is an experienced, award-winning freelance sports journalist. Email [email protected]

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