March 6, 2023 Submitted by Alan McKenna
I am compelled to write to you regarding the editorial by Joshua Ross titled “Support All The Teams, Not just a Few” that you published on March 3, 2023. While I 100% agree with the premise that we, as a town, should support all of our student-athletes, the way in which the message was delivered is unfortunately flawed in many respects.
First, Mr. Ross’ editorial contains patently false statements. When referencing the recent girls hockey playoff game at Pilgrim, Mr. Ross states “the rink was empty” and “[a] handful of students were there. The same handful that are always there, mostly made up of the girls basketball team.” This is not accurate. Mr. Ross neglects to note that the entire boys hockey team was there cheering on their classmates. How do I know this? Because I was also at the game, and I saw (and heard) them there.
Second, in what is unfortunately all too common in our divisive society today, rather than focus on the benefits of attending more sporting events (a sentiment many of us, myself included, agree with), Mr. Ross chose instead to write negatively – both directly and impliedly – about other groups, namely the boys hockey team and those who attended their recent game in Canton. He critiques those who “traveled 40 minutes away” to watch the game. Then he maligns the game itself as unexciting – “[t[he atmosphere … was electric …. the game not so much.” He follows this with “They won easily 7-1 …” Interestingly, while maligning this particular game (apparently based on his view that a 7-1 game is not exciting enough), he closes his piece by stating that our support should not be about the score but rather about supporting the athletes. 100% agree with the closing sentiment, but it is contradicted by his assertion that the 7-1 game was unexciting. And, I was at the game Mr. Ross criticized and personally found it very exciting and enjoyed being among many friends and neighbors supporting our student-athletes. By Mr. Ross’ flawed logic last night’s 6-1 girls hockey victory would not be exciting. I couldn’t disagree more. I was there and it was very exciting to see the high-end competition with many excellent plays by both teams, including the Harborwomen my daughter and her teammates look up to.
I’d humbly suggest that it is possible to support the premise that we, as a town, can and should support all of our student-athletes without making negative comparisons to another group or putting a group down in any way. Let’s avoid the us versus them mentality. Instead, why don’t we work together to support ALL of our students rather than try to promote one at the detriment of another.
Third, while I fully support the main premise of the editorial, I find the timing interesting, particularly in a year in which school spirit at HHS is at an all-time high. As Mr. Ross is well aware (because he has photographed them many times), the Red Army was created during this academic year to support myriad activities that our students are involved in. If you haven’t done so, I’d encourage you to take a few minutes to look at the Red Army Instagram account to see all of the encouragement and support these students have given to their classmates. Consistently and repeatedly for many months despite juggling schoolwork and their own extracurricular activities. You might even go back and read some of the articles the Anchor has published this year that reference this amazing group, many of which include photographs taken by Mr. Ross himself. Of course, many of the students behind the formation and ongoing support provided by the Red Army are the very same boys hockey players Mr. Ross chose to criticize as noted above.
In closing, I want to reiterate that I fully support the premise of Mr. Ross’ editorial. We all can and should support ALL of our student-athletes. For that matter, we should support not just the athletes but all of our students in the many great, exciting activities they engage in – be it drama, Quiz Bowl, dance, robotics, etc. Let’s rally together and support them all as much as we can as they engage in the activities they love. And rather than refer to any one of their events as unexciting, let’s simply celebrate them. All of them.
3 thoughts on “OPINION: An Open Letter to the Hingham Anchor”
I’d hazard a guess that anyone with a daughter in this town would have a very hard time believing that the boy’s hockey team, of all people, have ever been treated unfairly, let alone through their portrayal in Josh’s article.
This is a well written piece. And a needed response to an article that was authored by an individual who appears to have a high conflict personality. Thank you Alan.