To finally watch the women of the Rutgers basketball team today was to put a face on the controversy over Don Imus's despicable comments. They were as classy as Imus was trashy: willing to meet with him, expressing their feelings, allowing us to understand why they are such winners. As someone today said, "No one can make you feel inferior unless you allow that." And they are clearly not going to allow that.
In a way, that's the lesson here. These young women are teaching us all that, as their coach said, "no one believed in them but themselves." They were underdogs, winning when no one else thought they could. Yet they persevered, winning more than anyone else thought they could. They were stars on the court; they performed scholastically. They made their school proud; they made their state proud. Then came Don Imus.
I'm a mom, so I wonder what I would say if these wonderful young women were my own. I would be hurt and try to help their hurt. But I would also be so proud as a parent: If this is a "teachable moment," they are the ones teaching uswith their grace, their wisdom about civility, and their words about the way women should be treated. This is no joke, as Imus once protested. And we need to let these young women continue to tell us why. Forget the media elites and Imus. These young women are our role models. We couldn't ask for any finer.