I am utterly confused by Cal's reaction to the current controversy in Arizona. Cal, a campus widely known for its liberalism and advocacy of civil rights, has let its athletic department totally reverse that reputation. This once again stresses the point that some athletes live in their own little world, sheltered from the real world. They can't believe when the outside world questions their actions.
The comment by a Cal wide receiver, "Martin Luther King had a dream and I have a dream: to play in a bowl game," portrays his team as being even worse than first expected. Every NCAA player dreams about playing in a bowl game or in the NCAA tournament, yet we must realize that sports is not everything. There are much greater issues facing the country, and the actions of the Cal football team just give athletes an even worse reputation.
Officials believe that an emblem on a helmet or a half time show dedicated to King should be more than enough to calm the opposition. In fact, though, this does the opposite by trivializing the whole subject.
Black players especially, but not exclusively, should particularly value what Martin Luther King did for this country. Any act of disrespect towards him should be met with severe criticism. Cal should follow the lead of other NCAA teams who refused to play in Arizona and decline the bowl invitation.
MATT BRIGHAM, La Jolla