January 26, 2010 § Leave a comment
Zach McKelvie is a prospect for the Boston Bruins, a defenceman playing for Army. That means he signed up for the Army. Today, word has come that rather than pursue his professional career, McKelvie must report for active duty and training at Fort Benning. McKelvie says he understands the decision, but he also sounds pretty frustrated about it:
It’s frustrating on one side. At the same time, I can understand it…I have no problem serving in the military. This is what we train to do here. We train to be a part of this Army and help this country out. But at the same time … I feel like they never should have, I guess, led me on. And at the same time, it’s a pretty hard time to let someone play professionally. I totally understand that because of the situation that’s going on.
He thinks he was led on because, when he signed up, US Army policy was that if an athlete had a professional contract, s/he would be allowed to play for 2 years before being re-evaluated for future service. That policy has since been changed, and there is apparently no grandfather clause. He’s also frustrated because some prospective Olympic athletes are being allowed to pursue that by the Army. Fair enough, I can understand why McKelvie is frustrated, but I can also understand why he would accept the Army’s ruling.
What I find stupid and pathetic are some of the comments on TSN’s website. One commentor says McKelvie is brainwashed if he accepts the US Army’s ruling. Others comment on the “militaristic US culture.” My favourite, though, says this: “thats the usa for you.” Um, no. That’s not the USA for you. It’s also got nothing to do with militarism. Or brainwashing. It has everything to do with signing up for the military. In any nation. The same would happen in Canada. There are obligations and rules one must respect. It’s that simple. Knee-jerk anti-Americanism is just so boring.