Opinion: Columnists

Want to spark liberal outrage? Say you've been bullied

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Sports,Education,NFL,Gregory Kane,Columnists,Analysis

Jevon Tyree is kidding us, right?

Tyree, until very recently, was a defensive back on the Rutgers University football squad. He abruptly quit the team after charging defensive coordinator Dave Cohen with “bullying” him.

What are the specifics of the “bullying”? According to a news story on ESPN's website, “Tyree, 19, told (NJ.com) that Cohen called him emasculating names and threatened to head-butt him during a study hall session.”

Oh, the poor baby! It’s a good thing for Tyree that he didn’t go through Air Force boot camp with me at Lackland Air Force Base some 39 years ago, where our military training instructor called us airmen basics “emasculating” names on a daily basis. He threatened to hand out butt-whippings a few times too.

The Lackland rumor mill had it that other MTI’s didn’t just threaten to hand out butt-whippings; they actually did it.

When I was in the Air Force, this was known as “basic training.” Today, thanks to the latest liberal cause de jour, it’s called “bullying.”

Here’s how I and my fellow airmen basics in my flight handled the “bullying” of SSgt. Wallace Tidwell: We stuck it out, handled the “abuse” and graduated from basic training as airmen in the U.S. Air Force.

Here’s how Tyree handled his “bullying” at the hands of Cohen: He went whining to his mommy and daddy. Mark and Clarice Tyree, Jevon Tyree’s parents, were quoted extensively in the ESPN story, telling readers all about that evil man Dave Cohen and how he needs to be fired.

Mr. and Mrs. Tyree have called for Cohen’s head despite the fact that officials at Rutgers University insist that head football coach has already reprimanded Cohen for the incident. Officials also say Cohen has apologized.

That should close the matter and end the incident. But this story remains in the news for one reason and one reason only: Jevon Tyree used the dreaded “b” word to describe his plight.

Yes, that “b” word is “bullying,” which has become the latest “crime” that arouses liberal outrage. If there’s any one person in the nation that’s pleased by Jevon Tyree’s tale of woe, it would be one President Obama, who has made putting an end to the scourge of “bullying” the focus of his administration.

Yes, the president that insists slaughtering babies in the womb is a “constitutional right” absolutely can’t stand the thought of somebody being “bullied.” Go figure.

Would Obama call what his basic training sergeants did to him in the military “bullying”? Oh, that’s right: Our commander-in-chief never served in our armed forces, did he?

He could have, but decided to pass the years he could have been in the Army, Air Force, Navy or Marine Corps as a community organizer. There’s nothing wrong with being a “community organizer,” I suppose, but it doesn’t give you a clue about what makes for bona-fide bullying.

Jevon Tyree wasn’t “bullied” any more than members of our armed forces that go through basic training were. In fact, if the details of what he says are true, then he got off easy in comparison to what armed forces basic trainees go through.

And what, exactly, constitutes “bullying” in the world of college and professional athletics, anyway?

Was Jevon Tyree “bullied” any more that Vince Lombardi’s Green Bay Packers? Did the late, great head football coach of the University of Alabama, Paul “Bear” Bryant, “bully” his players?

We might discover that the “bullying” Jevon Tyree experienced at Rutgers was nothing compared to what Bryant’s players were subjected to. But Bryant has an interesting quote that pertains to players like Jevon Tyree.

“If a man is a quitter, I’d rather find out in practice than in a game. I ask for all a player has so I’ll know later what I can expect.”

We don’t know if Rutgers University defensive coordinator Dave Cohen is a bully; but we do know, by his own admission, that Jevon Tyree is a quitter.

GREGORY KANE, a Washington Examiner columnist, is a Pulitzer Prize-nominated news and opinion journalist who has covered people and politics from Baltimore to the Sudan.
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