Postscript to On Civility

Not that I’m looking for examples of incivility, but sometimes the incivility comes looking for me. My daughter forwarded me this article about the former NFL star who was threatened with a lawsuit by parents of kids who trashed his house.

“Surely, this can’t be right, right? I mean, I know we talk about the decline of Western Civilization and basic decency, but this? Former Pro Bowler Brian Holloway was staying at his primary residence in Florida when an estimated 300 teenagers crashed his house in New York and held a giant party. Teens being forward-looking and responsible, they naturally documented their destruction of his pad— estimated at $20,000 of graffiti, damaged floors, and stolen property— in photos, videos, tweets, and Facebook posts.

“Holloway responded by publicizing some of the photos and publicly pleading with parents and teens to remedy the situation.

His website expresses concern about the teens’ drinking, drug use, and criminal behavior and a desire to prevent kids from “get[ting] off track” and hold them accountable for their actions.

The response from parents of the kids involved, according to Holloway?

But rather than apologize to Holloway for their children’s behavior, some parents have contacted their lawyers to see what legal action they can take against the former Patriots and Raiders offensive lineman, local affiliate ABC News 10 reported.

“Parents have threatened me,” Holloway, a three-time Pro Bowler and Super Bowl XX veteran, told ABC News. “Your kids are in my house breaking and stealing my stuff and you are mad at me because I posted pictures that they took and posted themselves of them partying and tearing things up?”

Now, that’s disturbing on its own, but maybe it’s just one or two crazy, litigious parents, I thought to myself. The rest of them are probably lining up to repay Holloway and have their kids clean up the mess. This part is devastating:

The former grid iron star is holding a picnic for veterans at the home on Saturday, and invited the rowdy teens and their parents to help him clean the house.

“Come out and help set up, fix up, bring food, and picnic stuff, so we can honor these real HEROS,” he wrote on his website. “I’m here. Come now. Take a stand for your future. This is called redemption.”

“Holloway says one parent showed up. ONE! My parents would have had my butt over there so fast, long before Holloway publicly asked for help, and probably my brothers, too, in case they had any ideas of pulling a similar stunt. Teenagers do stupid things. Acting in groups of 300, those things can be so stupid that they veer into destructive and criminal. Even when the initial act is pretty terrible, it’s hard for me to imagine that 300 teenagers and their parents are so shameless as to eschew a chance to make amends. But that’s what we have, along with possible lawsuits.”

While it is nice to know it is not just happening to me, it begs the question of how we can bring back civility on a large scale.

It is time for all of us to practice RAK:


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1 Response to Postscript to On Civility

  1. Kathy D says:

    Here in Rochester we had an out-of-control city resident resist an arrest–yell and scream–and the black ministers want all these investigations about how brutal the cop was?? Excuse me??? Another example–one city resident actually said that since this woman was so upset the cop should have just let her go–again–excuse me?? These same people are calling for the resignation of the police chief ( a black man who has done an EXTRAORDINARY job trying to clear the streets of these gangs.) I say if the chief goes–every single cop should walk off the job and let the City of Rochester suffer the consequences of mob and gang rule–and see how much they mouth off then. A gang member would have put a bullet in this person rather than put up with her crap–wonder how she would like that?? Who would the ministers blame then??

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