Get our newsletters

Standing up against racism and athlete’s pay


Dear Friends,

Good morning. Today, I have two emails from readers to share with you. The first is from Doris Brown and it regards Congressman Brian Fitzpatrick, who along with three other Republicans, voted to censor President Trump’s racist remarks against four congresswomen of color.

Note, of the 197 Republicans in the House of Representatives, only four voted with the Democrats who criticized President Trump’s tweets repudiating progressive, Democratic Representatives Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York, Ihan Omar, of Minnesota, Ayanna Pressley, of Massachusetts, and Rashida Tlaib, of Michigan. Trump’s tweets told the four American citizens to “Go back and help fix the totally broken and crime infested places from which they came.”

First, I agree with Brian Fitzpatrick’s criticism of President Trump.

Here’s what Doris Brown wrote: “Some of you already know that whenever Brian Fitzpatrick votes against something that I disagree with, I call his office and make my dismay and displeasure known. Well, last week, Mr. Fitzpatrick was one of the four Republicans that voted with the Democrats to censure Donald Trump on his racism. After hearing that on the news, I decided to call Brian to thank him for doing the courageous (and right) thing.

“I called the Washington office and spoke to a young man named Paul. Paul was extremely surprised and pleased when I told him why I was calling. He mentioned that, to his knowledge, I was the only constituent…Republican, Democrat, or Independent…who had called with praise for the action.

“I’m letting you know this, in case you may be so inclined as to call and add to the gratitude. As I do, you may feel that it’s important for Brian to hear when he does something to your liking, regardless of whether you are an R, a D or an I.”

Brava, Doris Brown.

Michael Gerson writes opinion pieces for the Washington Post. Here’s what he had to say: “Congressmen Fitzpatrick, Brooks, Hurd and Upton possess political courage but of a particularly rare and important type. They refused to rationalize.

“Rationalization is the default setting of the human mind. We can’t reconsider our whole view of the world with every new piece of information. So we tend to accept evidence that supports our predispositions, and filter out evidence that does not. All of us do this to one extent or another.

“Rationalization can harden into a rigid ideology in which all questioning is disloyalty. And this cult-like ideology can become a cable network like Fox News. If politics is really the never ending warfare between tribes, then information is only useful as ammunition. The consideration of conflicting ideas and views only gives aid and comfort to the enemy.”

Alas, so true.

The second email came from Father Fred Riegler, the recently retired pastor of St. Isidore’s Catholic Church in Quakertown.

“What I wanted to share with you was something that I picked up on shortly after the ladies won the soccer World Cup,” Father Fred began. “Like many others, I was not happy that they were receiving less than their male counterparts. A column was written that went into the finances of athletes’ pay. The writer pointed out that indeed the Women’s Cup made a good deal of money…$120 million. Not bad.

“It is from that the athletes are paid. But in comparison with the men’s World Cup, it is not even in the same league. The last Men’s World Cup made $4 billion. That is, according to my math, 33 and 1/3 times what the women’s Cup made. And quite simply that is why men are paid more.”

Father Fred Riegler made similar comparisons with the National Basketball Association (NBA) versus the Women National Basketball Association (WNBA). Ditto for the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) men’s basketball championship. Not so the ladies.

“Perhaps the only way to make sure the pay of men and women is the same is to get rid of money in sports,” Father Fred concluded. “It has changed the ‘game’ for the worse. And you and I know that won’t happen; the money will be there for the most popular sports and it will be those played by men. Yes, I yearn for the good old days of amateur sports but they are gone for good.

“If people want those highly talented ladies of soccer…and they are very good…well, start attending women’s sports, watch their games, cheer them on. Or to put it ever so bluntly, pay so that the ladies can play!”

Bravo Father Fred Riegler. You always make me feel better.


Charles Meredith

By the way, at our monthly meeting of Grumbles, I asked the members whether they agreed with Congressman Fitzpatrick’s decision to criticize President Trump for his racist comments. The six members, all in their 80s, all in Fitzpatrick’s district, agreed with him. President Trump may find the going rough in Bucks County next year. We’ll see. Stay tuned.