First Step on the Road to Redemption

Thursday, May 26th 2011, 1:28 pm
By: News On 6

Originally Published: Oct 28, 2010 8:48 PM CDT

I was, like most people, disappointed in Justin Blackmon&rsquo;s actions this past Monday and Tuesday.&#160; My blog earlier this week detailed why, but I don&rsquo;t think I was alone in my feelings.</P>&#160;</P>As disappointed as I was Tuesday evening by Blackmon&rsquo;s actions, I was equally encouraged and impressed by his actions 24 hours later.</P>&#160;</P>I mean, how many college athletes hold a press conference to apologize for something?&#160; Go ahead, give me one.&#160; It&rsquo;s like trying to name a great Keanu Reeves acting performance.</P>&#160;</P>Heck, even professional athletes rarely hold press conferences to say they&rsquo;re sorry until they have absolutely no other choice.&#160; (We&rsquo;re still waiting Barry Bonds).</P>&#160;</P>What Justin Blackmon did Wednesday evening speaks to his honor and his character.&#160; I truly believe that he is sorry for his actions.&#160; Maybe I&rsquo;m wrong and maybe something else will happen to change the way I feel, but I think he&rsquo;s sincere in his apology.&#160; </P>&#160;</P>&#160;I think that all of the time on a stairmaster during practice and sitting out the Kansas State game will not punish Blackmon from the outside as much as he is punishing himself on the inside.&#160; </P>&#160;</P>And the fact that Mike Gundy and the OSU athletic department officials allowed Blackmon to speak to the public at this time shows how much they believe in Blackmon and his character.&#160; </P>&#160;</P>Rare are the occasions that a school says, &ldquo;We know you screwed up and we&rsquo;d love to have you go out there and answer questions from the media about why you did it.&rdquo;&#160; It never happens.&#160; It&rsquo;s too risky.&#160; </P>&#160;</P>But Gundy and the OSU people believe Blackmon is a different kind of kid.&#160; They truly believe he is a good kid who made a very poor decision.&#160; If they didn&rsquo;t, they wouldn&rsquo;t have put him in front of a microphone to try to begin to repair his reputation.&#160; They would have kept Blackmon as hidden as possible and asked media members to refrain from asking questions about the incident.</P>&#160;</P>This one bad incident will not define Justin Blackmon. The way he responds from it will begin to.&#160; Just as other athletes can learn from Blackmon what can happen when you make a mistake.&#160; They can also learn from him how to react when you make one.</P><BR/>