If you haven’t been able to figure it out by now, I’m a big fan of the Shorebirds and try to make it out to all of the games as I can (perhaps 50 so far this season.) One of the fun things to watch is what goes on between innings and one of the promotions was a wheelchair race sponsored by a local home health care company. (Full disclosure: my significant other is one of their employees. They also put a large ad in the program so you can figure out who it is if you really care to know; that’s not my point.)
The premise was pretty simple: two teams of two players push a wheelchair while the other rides and they switch in the middle. A little harmless between inning fun, right?
Guess not. I had to bring back the wheelchairs from the stadium today because a total of FOUR – that’s right, four out of the nearly 200,000 fans the Shorebirds have drawn this season – complained. Apparently their gripe was that this event made fun of people who require wheelchairs to get around.
To them I say, get a life. Certainly I enjoyed watching the event, and I have no less respect for people who need wheelchairs. The point of the exercise was to play up the goal of the sponsor – to help people who are recovering from ailments return to their normal lives. Besides, there were only 8 games left in the season so why not let the event run its course? I wonder if these people whine about those athletes who compete in events such as the Boston Marathon in specially-designed equipment? Or, to pick a different promotion, how many people complain about the Maryland Lottery ticket contest – doesn’t that promote gambling?
A week ago Friday, the final wheelchair races featured several teams of local celebrities who were racing for their selected charities. Granted, not all of the races had such a noble cause but where does political correctness stop?
We worry about the perception given by people who are competing in an event for fun (and may find out just how difficult moving people around in such a fashion can be) while there are problems many times weightier affecting our way of life. Just live and let live and don’t sweat the small stuff, people.
I hope the sponsor brings back the races bigger and better next season (and while we’re at it, returning the Thursday night postgame concerts would be cool too.)
In the meantime, don’t let the four people who probably could never be happy anyway spoil things for the rest of us.