Brookwood versus Milton- A Tale of Two Goals
The Card that Changed from Yellow to Race...
A parents perspective:
After mulling over the recent Brookwood HS versus Milton HS semi final game, I am finding it not just irresponsible, but quite reprehensible that the game ended with an uncalled for red card...or could it mean RACE card. It has become impossible to file that shameful event to the archives of my mind. As an active and avid follower of youth soccer, I have to admit that never have I witnessed an event as demoralizing as that, which transpired on Tuesday 5/10/2016, at the Broncos Soccer field. Additionally, for one to take down the full length video on YouTube demonstrates an extreme attempt at concealing this shameful mark of controversy.
For the Broncos, the magnitude of that disappointment cannot be quantified, but the team bore its disappointment with the dignity of true sportsmen. After all, deep down they were confident they could have prevailed given a fair chance. However, the unjust call made by the referee soon after the equalizing goal did enough to confuse, traumatize, and destabilize the Broncos hitherto stolid mental focus.
That fated goal evolved into a double-edged knife severing the Broncos’ progress to the imminent championships, and catapulted them into the Gwinnett Daily Post. It was the media account that highlighted the influence behind the red card, which ultimately was none other than a race card. Thank you Gwinnett Daily Post for giving a voice to the voiceless as the circumstances leading to the swift change from yellow, to red, to ejection would have remained a mystery to the public at large.
Had the Broncos won through fair competition, it would have been no big news; Broncos after all have demonstrated their capacity to play like the champions that they are till the end, and that goal in the dying minutes of the game was a fitting testament to the Broncos’ spirit of never giving up. That moment when Broncos supporters jumped up in excitement to celebrate the lifeline earned by that equalizer will forever remain a sweet memory.
Within the same half of the game, a non-black Milton player scores a goal, celebrates in front of Brookwood supporters, and play proceeds as it should. Then several minutes later, the ball finds the back of the net again in the dying moments of regulation time to tie the game for the Broncos who were a goal down. The goal scorer, a black player is ecstatic as he had every right to be, for that goal restored hope to the team and breathed new life into the home crowd.
Upon achieving this feat, he naturally explodes with excitement, bounds to the opposing team’s side of the stadium to celebrate, only to have the referee abruptly interrupt his moment by issuing him a yellow card. No big deal. But when minutes later the referee changes the card to red, the goal scorer tries to protest his treatment. His coach throws his water bottle on the field in frustration and earns himself a red card even before spectators had regained their composure from the euphoria and jubilation following the golden goal. A gaunt application of different strokes for different people zapped team spirit; in a heartbeat, coach and player are ejected from the soccer grounds. The confusion and shock overwhelms, dampens morale on the home team and recovery is impossible.
For two goals to be celebrated in similar fashion yet perceived differently by the same official entrusted to oversee a very important match raises many questions which may never be answered. However, the take away from this event is that all people regardless of skin color deserve to be treated equally.
There are several lessons to be learned from the Broncos last game. The first is 'life is not fair' but you’ve got to keep moving on. Second, power is a beautiful thing but the abuse of power can be detrimental as witnessed by the Broncos.
Indubitably, this group of boys will go a long way in life due to their intellect and athletic prowess. Perhaps the emotional trauma caused by this event will be a permanent reminder and guiding force in their lives as they transition through life and find themselves in positions where people's fate rest on their judgment/decision making. This may be God's way of planting the seed of fairness in them.
The third lesson is disappointment, an infrequent word in the Broncos locker room. Yet, disappointment is a recurring event on the journey we call life. In this regard, life is fair because it doles out disappointment in different proportions to all.
The Brookwood versus Milton debacle is a precursor to the many disappointments on varying scales these boys will encounter in life; they need to know how to process such occurrences. Presently, they are with loved ones helping them to shake it off, but in a couple of months, they head off to college where they must handle life's adversities solely. The truth is there will be many other opportunities and of course disappointments on the journey of life for this talented group of boys. The ability to handle what life throws at them is what will make the ultimate difference.
In conclusion, it is my sincere hope that all people, regardless of the differences that set us apart, are treated with fairness and the respect that they deserve.
Follow the links below for local media coverage of above incident: