Monday, April 11, 2016

Banned From Boston: Trust and Fairness. The Follow-up

“I'm not upset that you lied to me, I'm upset that from now on I can't believe you.” ~ Friedrich Nietzsche
The day after some bloggers and others examined some of the claims Gia Alvarez made concerning the reasons for her ban from all future BAA races, she posted "Apologizes".
"To the running community,  
I apologize for both the bib transfer and for using a time that wasn’t mine. Please understand that I respect the BAA and the Boston Marathon. I personally know how hard it is to qualify and how hard we runners work to have the privilege of running this marathon.
I made a mistake, I made a bad decision and I have been punished.  I feel very sorry. 
My hope is that with this apology the hatred out there can stop.  Running is about camaraderie, I am so sorry for bringing negativity out of the community that I think is beautiful.  We all make mistakes, we are human.  I claim this mistake with no excuses and accept the punishment with as much dignity as possible.   
I wish all of those runners running in the 2016 Boston Marathon a great race and many happy miles."   
When I first read this I thought, hold on. What does she mean by: "I am so sorry for bringing negativity out of the community that I think is beautiful."???  Along with her hope that the 'hate' stops, she again seems to be shifting some blame for the whole boondoggle on others. First, I don't think that there is HATE. Moral condemnation is not hate. Moral condemnation is something that a moral community has a right and even a duty to express. Moreover to say that she brought "negativity out of the community" implies that any criticism is "negativity" which again, I disagree with. It's as though her actions brought outs some darkness in us all, and that is NOT the case. No. It is not the community that is negative, it is the communty that has a right to call members on their immoral actions. Not hate. Not negativity. An apology with the little added jab at the 'community' accused of being negative blames others and shows that real responsibility is not being accepted here.
My approach and response to these sorts of actions by members of a community does NOT concern rules or set codes of behavior but, rather, concerns trust. As members of a communty we must trust others and we must not violate the trust of others. This is what makes a group a true communty. Because trust is the stuff the sticks a community together then the violation of that trust must be addressed. Therefore my response does not arise out or hate or negativity but instead love of the community and the value that a community offers.
Fairness is also an attribute that all successful communities embrace, defend and practice. Without it there is no community, just unconnected number of individuals. Now it has come to my attention that the friend who used her bib in 2015, is running Boston in 7 days. And she is indeed on the entrants list. This seems unfair if Gia is banned due to the bib transgression (not the BQ lie) then both should be banned as well. Fairness concerns treating like things in a like manner. If the rules apply to one they should apply to all.
Based on trust and fairness, I don't think that the community is being negative or hateful. This is just how a community should respond to those who violate the things that make a community valuable. 
Community is nothing more or less than those things that keep us connected, even when we disagree. Trust and fairness are non-negotiable. 

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