Today I made a Mistake and I must Apologize
By: Pat Riley
Over the weekend, our running community was able to share thousands of great stories and experiences, but sadly, we lost a young life. A young runner at a local high school tragically died over the weekend and the entire running community is in mourning at the news of this great and sudden loss of an outstanding young runner.
My wife works at the school where the young man attended so the news spread pretty fast to our family and our hearts feel heavy for the family that is dealing with this unimaginable loss. As a parent, as a friend, as a coach, as a runner, the loss is just that, unimaginable.
I do not normally write a public letter like this, but this morning, I really messed up.
At TriStateRacer.com, we do everything we can to promote fitness and raise millions for charity. We try to share all the positive stuff that you all do week after week in our area. I think we have done a pretty good job at it. You all are awesome; you make our jobs of sharing all those good things you do very easy. Our running community is the best there is (And I would gladly argue with anyone who disagrees!) We, at TSR, never focus on the negative and this caused a BIG mistake this morning.
We posted a meme this morning of XC runners that was based on a quote from the great Steve Prefontaine. Typically, this quote would have been looked at as an inspiring quote about giving your all during a race. Today, it was not inspiring but wildly inappropriate and I have to take the blame for letting it out and any anger that should come from this meme being released this morning should be directed towards me.
Our e-marketing manager had planned to use this meme early last week and to release it this morning. She has done a terrific job for years and when good people do great things, you just let them do what they do best.
While I had heard about the tragedy, I am not one who enjoys sharing bad news, so most of our team members at TriStateRacer.com did not hear about the devastating news. This lack of sharing caused us to use the inappropriate image. For this, I apologize and beg forgiveness.
When we saw what we had done, tears welled up in our eyes. We immediately knew that what we had done was horrendous, disgusting, and in horrible taste. We never had the intention of making light of such a serious situation. To the family, friends, and team mates of the young man, I cannot imagine the pain you are going through. My heart goes out in your grief.
LOOK AT YOUR LOVED ONES (OR PEOPLE THAT YOU DON’T LOVE – They are still people who need to feel love, hope, and the future that only our dreams can provide) and see if they are struggling with any form of depression. If they are sad, hurt, tired, or anything; talk to them. Go on a run with them and for god sakes, BE NICE TO PEOPLE. You don’t have a clue what they are going through.
If you or someone you know needs help, please find it. For more information on suicide awareness, please visit Save.org to find out how you can help yourself or someone else.
*Photo courtesy of the Herald Dispatch.