Greeson: Hearing the other side a vital first step

Greeson: Hearing the other side a vital first step

July 11th, 2019 by Jay Greeson in Opinion Columns

Jay Greeson

Jay Greeson

Photo by Dan Henry /Times Free Press.

The conversation we started in this space Tuesday generated a lot of response.

For that, I am appreciative. Because, as we have discussed before, the goal of these conversations should be finding solutions.

It's one of the reasons that I applaud Nancy Pelosi for calling out fellow members of her party. Discussions that emerge from disagreement should not be just across the aisle.

Looking to be better should be the goal.

This was also one of the reasons I was disappointed that Megan Rapinoe has announced that she is happy to go to D.C. and meet with anyone who agrees with her viewpoints.

OK. After Rapinoe and her teammates delivered an inspiring World Cup championship and moved the conversation about equal pay in their line of work, it's clear the U.S. Women's National Soccer Team has a platform.

Rapinoe's tune has changed a bit, and that's at least a start. She went from saying "F—- the White House" earlier this month to a well-crafted position she shared with CNN's Anderson Cooper earlier this week.

"I don't think anyone on the team has any interest in lending the platform that we've worked so hard to build and the things that we fight for and the way that we live our life. I don't think that we want that to be co-opted or corrupted by this administration."

She continued with some interesting, thought-provoking points: "No one is saying that they want to leave America, but I think as one of the great countries in the world, and for sure we want to see ourselves as that, we need to constantly look within and challenge ourselves to be better so everyone else can be better around us."

Well said.

That conversation needs to continue.

And in that pursuit, I share some of the opposing viewpoints generated from Tuesday talking points in this space. It was clear that folks disagreed with me. Some quite vehemently and a couple vulgarly.

Emails from readers (names withheld because they were sent to me and not to Letters to the Editor). I will offer brief retorts after each of the four I picked.

"Grab them by the p——?" What woman in her right mind would want to be in the same company with this despicable human being? The Kool Aid drinkers are buying his b———- but not me. Go back to sports Jay. You're embarrassing yourself."

To be fair, I was in a fraternity at Auburn, so I am well-versed in embarrassing myself.

"Looking at the video, I see an excited player after winning the world championship drop the flag. But then she picked it up and handed it to Kelley. I don't think she meant any disrespect but was overwhelmed in the moment. But your comment that 'folks want the country to fail because they do not like the president' is especially egregious. How dare you question my patriotism because I do not care for the inept, egotistical, divisive and immoral man that occupies the office. You owe us an apology."

If you are cheering for America to succeed, then the main point of Tuesday's column was not directed at you per se.

"Sometimes you write good, sometimes you write bad. 7/9/19 column is worse than bad. You ask me to support a sports team over our USA. Cannot do it. USA comes first. Your column is like asking me to walk on our flag. I would like to support all USA teams in international competition but the attitude of some players on this soccer team prevents my support. 'Houston' we have a problem."

One of the tried-and-true rules of offering opinion is if you have found a way to make both sides fired-up — good and bad — then you have found a solid lane.

"Good article although you ramble too much in several places. Having graduated high school in 1969 I remember it well."

Thanks. I think.

"Americans are rooting today for all Americans and we are proud of our flag and all of those individuals that have given so much to make our country what it is today. Please notice I did not say "Great Again." We have always been great and always will be regardless of the person or party in office. There is a common denominator in all these teams refusing to go to the White House and it has nothing to do with the flag or how people feel about the country they love. When our commander in chief decides he will represent all of America and not just those that voted for him these very special White House visits will be better received."

Which is one of the reasons why I would hope that those who disagree the most with our president — or this regular conversation — would make a point to try to further the discussion rather than further the divide.

Contact Jay Greeson at jgreeson@timesfreepress.com.

Getting Started/Comments Policy

Getting started

  1. 1. If you frequently comment on news websites then you may already have a Disqus account. If so, click the "Login" button at the top right of the comment widget and choose whether you'd rather log in with Facebook, Twitter, Google, or a Disqus account.
  2. 2. If you've forgotten your password, Disqus will email you a link that will allow you to create a new one. Easy!
  3. 3. If you're not a member yet, Disqus will go ahead and register you. It's seamless and takes about 10 seconds.
  4. 4. To register, either go through the login process or just click in the box that says "join the discussion," type your comment, and either choose a social media platform to log you in or create a Disqus account with your email address.
  5. 5. If you use Twitter, Facebook or Google to log in, you will need to stay logged into that platform in order to comment. If you create a Disqus account instead, you'll need to remember your Disqus password. Either way, you can change your display name if you'd rather not show off your real name.
  6. 6. Don't be a huge jerk or do anything illegal, and you'll be fine.

Chattanooga Times Free Press Comments Policy

The Chattanooga Times Free Press web sites include interactive areas in which users can express opinions and share ideas and information. We cannot and do not monitor all of the material submitted to the website. Additionally, we do not control, and are not responsible for, content submitted by users. By using the web sites, you may be exposed to content that you may find offensive, indecent, inaccurate, misleading, or otherwise objectionable. You agree that you must evaluate, and bear all risks associated with, the use of the Times Free Press web sites and any content on the Times Free Press web sites, including, but not limited to, whether you should rely on such content. Notwithstanding the foregoing, you acknowledge that we shall have the right (but not the obligation) to review any content that you have submitted to the Times Free Press, and to reject, delete, disable, or remove any content that we determine, in our sole discretion, (a) does not comply with the terms and conditions of this agreement; (b) might violate any law, infringe upon the rights of third parties, or subject us to liability for any reason; or (c) might adversely affect our public image, reputation or goodwill. Moreover, we reserve the right to reject, delete, disable, or remove any content at any time, for the reasons set forth above, for any other reason, or for no reason. If you believe that any content on any of the Times Free Press websites infringes upon any copyrights that you own, please contact us pursuant to the procedures outlined in the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (Title 17 U.S.C. § 512) at the following address:

Copyright Agent
The Chattanooga Times Free Press
400 East 11th Street
Chattanooga, TN 37403
Phone: 423-757-6315
Email: webeditor@timesfreepress.com