Proud Papa

Being a dad is something that I am proud of. Specifically, though, it’s the things my daughter does that makes me proud.

I am excited that I get to guide her, and hopefully, she becomes a strong, professional woman that can be a role model. At least to some.

I am also proud, right now, of my friend Lindsay Jones.

Lindsay is a friend of this blog and her husband is one of my closest friends. During Peyton Manning’s farewell news conference, Lindsay was the only – or at least, the first – reporter to ask Peyton Manning to address the sexual assault allegations that have recently come back up in the news.

NFL: Denver Broncos-Peyton Manning Press Conference
#Manning Face (Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports)

Unfortunately, in this day and age, Lindsay got hammered on social media. She got roasted for doing her job.

A lot of the people who trolled Lindsay online called her “classless,” claimed she had no knowledge of “time and place” and that she ruined a celebratory moment.

As a former journalist, I know that if you have your subject in front of you, you have got to have the gumption to be able to ask the tough questions. Or else the industry will wash you out. Or you’ll have a mega career at ESPN. One or the other.

Nobody has heard from Peyton Manning since the Super Bowl ended. Nobody knew when Peyton would be in front of a reporter again, as he was announcing his retirement.

This was, indeed, the time and place to ask him to address these allegations that have resurfaced. It was not classless. Lindsay was doing her job.

Should hundreds of people attack you on Twitter if you do your job, but it just happens to interfere with other people’s personal pleasures?

Lindsay should be an example of what it’s like for women working in a male-dominated environment. She is treated unfairly, like it or not. And, like it or not, she is a role model. Maybe not for everyone, but for the young girls who aspire to work in sports, one way or another.

I want my daughter to grow up like that.

Unfortunately, we live in this age of sensationalism where someone like Kim Kardashian, who has done nothing tangible which would translate to her level of fame, is able to cause a brief firestorm on Twitter by showing off a year-old nude pic. Talk about classless.

Yet somehow, there are more young girls who look up to Kim Kardashian than true professionals. Like my wife. Like my colleagues. Like Lindsay.

All parents should point their children in the right direction. That’s especially more true for fathers of daughters.

There are too many influences working against young girls (like this blog I wrote about Curt Schilling defending his daughter publicly). Too many magazines and TV shows telling them how they need to look, how they need to dress, how they need to act.

What we need is to point them in the right direction and highlight when someone like Lindsay Jones is able to do the right thing and do her job rather than try and tear her down while at the same time celebrating someone like a Kardashian.

We need more fathers to hug their girls, tell them they’re proud of them. I hope that Lindsay’s dad did that. Having met him, I’m sure he did – or he owes her one the next time they get together.

I am trying to do everything I can to point my daughter in the right direction and celebrate her minor victories as she traverses this life. There are many moments of someone’s life when you can be proud of them. I am constantly amazed at myself for how proud I feel as a dad.

So I can only imagine that if my daughter grows up and performs her job well – and does her job to a high degree – that I will be proud of her.

There will always be naysayers. You’ve just got to hope that, as a father, you’ve pushed your children to be above that, to know right from wrong, when to ask the tough questions, and not be afraid to do so.



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