Friday night our daughter is part of a dance group that performs during half time of our high school basketball teams' games. We usually aren't required to be there until the beginning of the varsity game but this Friday we arrived early to watch the JV game first, as we took our seats both teams were on the court practicing before the game. Just as they were walking off the court before the game was to begin I saw one of the ref's stop one of the players of the home team and talk to him, and then the second ref also joined them center court I watched as I realized the kid was arguing with them somewhat which got the coach's attention and he too went out to center court to join in the conversation, from what I could see and hear they were telling the boy that he had to remove something that was around his wrist before the game and the boy was heatedly trying to tell them something but it was apparent they weren't listening, the crowd was all watching this go on as there was nothing else to watch at the time and I saw a set of parents get up and head for the center of the court as well, I assumed they were the parents of the boy wanting to know what the problem was. The coach from the apposing team also joined them and suddenly the boy was surrounded. A moment or so later some other man (principal or superintendent I'm guessing) also joined them but they sort of floated out of the middle of the court towards the home teams bench area as one group…
A few minutes went by and an elderly couple that had been sitting next to me were discussing the whole thing and I heard the woman say to the man, " They are trying to make him take off that bracelet again, why do they do this to him at every game?" The elderly man replied "ignorance" and didn't say another word.
You all have to remember we only recently moved to this area so we really don't "know" anyone here or anything about them for the most part, anyway, curiosity got the best of me and I asked the elderly lady what was going on and she explained that the boy is a diabetic and they always try to make him take off his medical bracelet before a game claiming it could injure someone. Before I could say anything she proceeded to tell me that he used to wear the metal ID type bracelet but that his parents got him this cloth one that velcro's closed for him to wear during sporting events he is involved in but that the ref's still try to make him take it off claiming it could scratch someone during the game and that that's what they were all out there discussing again. I quickly thought back to my daughter and I at home before we left for the game, she had put on her dance uniform and asked me if it was okay for her to wear her medical ID necklace or if she should leave it at home, I told her, "You can wear it they will understand". As this woman was telling me this and I was thinking back to the conversation Laura and I had had about her necklace it dawned on me that there are still people out there that just don't get it!
Anyway, after about a 5-7min conversation the parents returned to the stands, the coach's to the benches and the ref's to their positions to start the game, and I watched the boy wondering…he took a seat on the bench with his fellow players who didn't say a word (too used to this sort of thing I suppose) and I looked and he was still wearing the bracelet. As the players took the court he remained on the bench with a few other extra players and I watched and waited to see what would happen when he did take the court, well that time came and he went out to play and was still wearing the bracelet and wore it the entire game. Bravo for him I say!!!
About 5 minutes before half-time of the Varsity game the dancers were to go get ready to perform (one of their rules is they have to wear something over their uniform until it is time to perform because the tops are all white) as Laura stood up and took off the sweatshirt she was wearing over her uniform her necklace came up with the sweatshirt as she was pulling it up off her head and I pulled it back down into place. The elderly woman that had explained about the boy on the court to me looked over and saw it and asked me what it was for, as Laura ran off to meet up with the other dancers I told the lady why Laura had to wear one. She smiled and said " Good for her, don't ever let anyone tell it she can't wear something that could save her life regardless why they think she should take it off." I assured her that wasn't going to happen as long as I was around and that when she gets older Laura will be able to hold her own about it too.
I read who the player was on the program that was wearing the bracelet, but can't say I remember his name now, which isn't important anyway, but I must say he was an inspiration for me personally that he stood his ground about being able to wear it during the game.
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