It can be easy to rush to judgment, especially when there’s a photo right there in front of you.
But it’s best to wait and hear all the facts.
The brouhaha at Douglas involving the football program last week was a textbook example. A parent posted a photo of a kid’s hands that were all torn up and said he suffered the injuries when the entire team was made by the coach to do “bear crawls” on the hot pavement.
We got the chance to speak to Sheriff Phil Sims about the episode.The “facts” that weren’t reported in the post were:
• The pavement wasn’t hot. The bear crawls were done at 7:30 in the morning, not in the heat of the day.
• Some of the kids didn’t have PE clothes and the grass was wet. That’s why the crawls were done on the pavement not on the field.
• The coach showed the kids how to do the bear crawls first.
• Just about all the parents and the kids supported the coach.
• A few kids had scratches on their hands, but they were no big deal. The last time we checked, football was a tough sport played by tough people.
• The injuries in the photos were related to power lifting, not the bear crawls.
This was one of those incidents when part of a story got out and a lot of people got upset. It was easy to see why. The pictures were damning.
The only problem was that they weren’t. What you saw told a story, but not the full story.
The old saying in journalism – and really in life – is that there are 2 sides to every story. It took a little time, but the second side eventually got out in this one and painted a much fuller picture than the Facebook photo did.
The next time you see something on Facebook that just seems too incredulous to be true, remember the Douglas football punishment story of 2019.
The truth will come out. It just might take a few days for that to happen.