Last Friday during the closing minutes of Manchester Academy’s MAIS Class 2A 8-Man championship game against Prairie View, Louisiana something remarkable happened.
With the game’s outcome clearly in hand Prairie View, for some strange reason, attempted an onside kick.
While recovering the kick, Maverick senior Rashaad Bass fielded the ball with one knee on the ground, making him down and essentially off limits.
However, a Spartan defender in pursuit of the ball plowed into Bass sending the Manchester players, coaching staff and fans into an obvious uproar.
Not uncommon to sports, especially one intrinsically violent like football, you would expect to see a player in Bass’ situation respond to being hit with a cheap shot by trying to go after the other player with a flurry of punches.
Understanding that it was probably an unintentional mistake, Bass approached the other player with his arms extended, but instead of throwing punches, he wrapped them around him and gave him a hug followed by a pat on the helmet.
Now that’s character with a capital C.
Bass’ actions are what the sports world and the world in general needs at this time. Unsportsmanlike conduct, taunts, viciousness, divisiveness and just an overall lack of human decency are elements that are all ruining our society. It was refreshing to see a kid respond to a situation like that in a totally different way that I’m sure 95% of his peers would have.
I mean, football is already violent enough. Players risk life and limb each and every time they don shoulder pads. The nature of the game already requires that they transform into violent gladiators for 3 hours. Do they really need to abandon all human decency as well?
Bass showed that you don’t have to remove compassion to compete.
I may be biased because I’ve known Rashaad 18 years. I know how he was raised. He’s a good kid that’s going to be an even greater man. I’ve always known it.
I’m just glad that now, after hearing about or witnessing his actions last Friday, the world will know it too.