Category Archives: Young Black Male

And how are you so different… (A blog inspired by Lamar Odom)


The impetus of this Blog all started off from a question proposed by my current life partner.  I informed her that I started reading a Lamar Odom interview and I saw a lot of myself in who he was.

She then proposed a question to me that resonated: How are you so different?

It sparked some thought within my mind. I live by the philosophy that there is an existence beyond our five senses: ideals, concepts, and things seemingly imperceivable and not so much verifiable by conventional scientific means. I believe the majority of individuals have an intuition of the same inclination but struggle to reconcile this belief with their everyday existence. Most, I presume, live there life by certainty. Bills are cut and dry and are certainly due. Food is tangible and you certainly need to eat. Sexual desire is certainly real and we seek outlets for the expression. But there are so many nebulous concepts and motivations out there that inspire people, and I believe these intangible desires begin many of the psychological rifts within a person. For instance, love: how can you define love? Can it simply be reduced to chemical reactions and a genetic desire to promulgate a phenotype or is there something more to it, something other worldly about it. The soul: do we all have one, or maybe it’s a subsection of the mind or a construct of such?

And so the question remains…

What makes me any different than Mr. Lamar Odom? Initially I was a bit affronted by the question, because she subsequently stated I often think you have issues. As I began to reflect more upon the question I realized he and I were not so different. No matter how much I attempted to rationalize the truth, there is a part of Lamar that links him to me and that part is the yearning for truth.  The yearning for an understanding of who we are and what we are, and the reconciliation of both ideals.

Lamar stated in an interview: “Wherever my heart is and I can have peace of mind (is home). Life can seem nomadic because I don’t know if I’m embracing it or running from it. I can go anywhere, but I don’t know where I want to be.”

This is a very telling statement. I see a lot within this statement. I see a man attempting to reconcile the thoughts in his head with the life that’s been presented to him. I see a man struggling to quiet the voice that’s telling him that there is more truth to life than the common eye can discern. A man who has suffered much but has no true solace for his suffering only the thoughts within his head.  Those thoughts provide his only console and so he self-medicates. Perhaps as an attempt to drown out the reality of it all, because maybe the reality that he can doesn’t feel so real after all.  And the reality he can sense isn’t evident enough.

Of course I could be projecting all this on to Lamar. I’ve only seen the man once in passing at an AAU tournament I played in when I was younger an Loyola Marymount University..

Lamar: “I’m searching,” he says. “I’m searching, but I don’t know for what. I can’t see what I’m looking for. I just, like, reach out and hope I grab something. But I don’t know what it will be because I don’t know what I’m searching for.”

I see a man who derives no fulfillment from fame and money. He enjoys its fruits but it does nothing for his soul. A man beginning to understand the fact that who is isn’t necessarily all that is to him and his existence.  The money fame is never enough and was never enough, it only created a buffer between him and others.  It only further entrapped him into a prison of his own thoughts and his own means of self-actualization.  Which can make a man feel alone, it’s hard to make your self vulnerable when you live most of your waking life being the image you portray yourself as.

Lamar: “I think about a lot. I think all the time–about everything… There’s so much going on. So many thoughts. I think about this life. About me. Who I could be. Who I was. Who I am. Who am I?”

These seem to be self reflective questions that any person would ask themselves. The “issues “arise when the answers you receive become irreconcilable with your truth.  Some people find these answers through religion, others through societies standards and still others seek to derive their own answers. Although our circumstances are vastly different and the manner in which I choose to go about seeking those answers differ. Maybe there are less differences between us as I would have liked to presume– Lamar and I.

So then the question truly becomes…

How are YOU so different?


“I’m a dying breed…There are no more Lamar Odoms. I’m the last one”

Here is a link to the Chris Palmer, Bleacher Report interview from which the quotes were pulled: http://bleacherreport.com/articles/2580319-finding-lamar-odom-tracking-down-the-elusive-and-recently-embattled-former-star

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Bros over Hoes? Perhaps they’re on to something…(a blog about affection)

Is affection a one way street? Or can platonic affection be exchanged between the sexes…

The following question was recently raised to me: “Did your father hug you or tell you he loved you while growing up?”

My initial response was no, (If so, few and far between) but I never believed for these acts to be necessary. I know my father loves me without a shadow of a doubt and his actions more than corroborate that. He has always loved me. He understands me to a degree that is beyond any other being—this is without question, for I am his seed.

But this strand of thought led me down another particular path… The topic of affection… Is it a one way street?

Is Brotherly love the saving Grace of man’s ability to have a sustainable existence?

The question got me to thinking. Has any woman openly displayed affection for me? That answer is few and far between. During the above discussion it was alluded to, because black fathers don’t hug and tell their kids “I love you” that in turn the children do not know how to display affection growing up. I would beg to differ. I would argue that man are among the most affectionate of creature roaming this earth.  In fact they have so much affection—they tend to create creative means for displaying and enacting this affection. You see, men are the only creatures who have never been afraid to display affection towards me (not so much in the romantic sense, but in the platonic-fraternizing sense).

IMG_4332I’ve rarely had a woman excited to see. This includes close relatives as well girlfriends and so forth (Although, I’ve had one girlfriend consistently express her joy in seeing me). Yet, I’ve had plenty of men “dap me up”, give me a hand shake, give me a head nod, give me a bro hug and a smile or all out laughter upon seeing me.

Is that not affection?

I’ve rarely had a woman sit down with me and enjoy meaningless banter without some undercurrent of sexual tension being evident; but plenty of men have been quick to “shoot the shit” with me–Men that I do not know and have no apparent vested interest in—from homeless men to guys at the gym to the random guy standing in line at a grocery store.

Is that not affection?

I’ve had many men open up and vent just so they can have some semblance of connection with someone. I’ve yet to meet a woman who would even bother to hear me out. Or fully attempt to understand my prospective on much of anything (I mean it occasionally happens but it is quite the anomaly).

Is that not affection?

I’ve had random men pick me up when I was at my lowest… Lend a helping hand and a kind word without expectation in return…I’ve reciprocated the notion to others as well…

Is this not affection?

IMG_4333I compete against men daily. I enter the gym, and engage in man on man competition. A sadomasochistic outlet towards the lack of affection received from women. In some twisted way the brutality stands in substitute for the soft caress. The soft caress may come once a month or so but the brutality is dependable– I can always count on it. And so as warriors, we as men willingly enter this make-shift arena and grapple—my arena of choice is basketball. We physically beat each other up, but have this deep rooted understanding that we need this in order to survive—in order to thrive and keep going.. We may be at each other’s throats on the court, yet as soon as the game is over it’s back to smiles and meaningless convos. It’s just an unspoken axiom, and all who participate in it: “get it”.

–If this isn’t affection… What is?

Men are scarred, and by function of cause and affect direct their actions accordingly. I can’t speak for all men but those I know are in similar boats. There is very little trust of women, very little understanding of women, and plenty of dysfunctional relationships with women.

Who is to blame?

I do not know.

Yet, to say men aren’t affectionate is to not understand the nature of a man.

I would beg to differ. Men are men’s only saving grace. Without the life vest that we toss each other daily we may be made to drown in our own emotion. Often, men are treated as a “function” as opposed to people. His worth is often derived from what he can provide. His worth is placed in his sexual prowess… His worth is placed in his athletic ability… These are all functions… The “person” gets buried underneath all the “functions” and it slowly chokes him. And maybe it does take another man to understand the depths of this box we’ve been placed in …Whether we are consciously or subconsciously aware of the box: we all tend to act out in a reactionary way—in our own unique way.  Men tend to gravitate towards men—and I believe the lack of affection plays a large part in this—whether it be through gangs, clubs, teams or whatever.

But I would never say men don’t know how to show affection… They display affection towards each other every day in every way… Fulfilling the void that society left in the best way they know how.

Now I don’t believe the mantra “bros before hoes”…or “Bitches and shit”… or “Money over bitches”…I believe that is simply the lashing out of the inner boy, who has yet to mature beyond a particular stage of emotional development—he is stuck,in a sense, in a phase of neglect and has not been able to psychological develop beyond this stagnation, and these phrases are evidence of the neurotic residue. But on some twisted level, I understand and I can relate…

Now, insert the bitches and hoes and sluts… Because,after all, women are reduced to their function:  A function that is reactionary to the story men have been told and have been showed. Our interactions have not been conditioned to be that of man and woman: but the function of what man can do for woman and vice versa. Hence, the accurate yet inaccurate titles of bitches and hoes– a self-fulfilling prophecy if you will.

I suppose we can blame the victim for not exuding affection in a manner deemed fit by society. But the truth of the matter is that the affection is there, it’s just waiting to be received and exchanged in a healthy manner.

Or perhaps I have it all wrong… Perhaps we are being shown affection by our women, and we’re simply misinterpreting it. And our gross misinterpretation of this affection is the catalyst for all the dysfunction.  Perhaps the cold stares and avoidance of eye contact and curt language is a woman’s manner of displaying affection towards a man, and I’m too blind to see it.

Or perhaps this social divide is all in my head…

Hmmm…Thanks for reading!

Reactions and opinions are welcomed.

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Hip Hop…The Gift and Curse (an analysis: does art imitate life or vice versa)

Does art imitate life or does life imitate art?

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We will examine the medium of rap or hip-hop music and its function in American culture. We will attempt to examine this expression of art from an honest– objective perspective.

There exist many influential mediums that utilize audio and visual stimulation– music and television—hip-hop is just a drop in a bucket of a larger lexicon. With each of these mediums the question of what influences what becomes blurred and almost indistinguishable. I see it as such: the 80/20 rule. The art impacts the lives that perceive it, and the creators of the art are impacted by aspects of life that they wish to convey. Art tends to imitate a portion of life that is provocative or noteworthy and it highlights and often embellishes this phenomenon.

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Life, on the other hand, is very much influenced by what it perceives. So life, or a portion of life, will reside in the comfort of the status quo– while the rebellious nature, that desires change, will often imitate art. And seek this art out as a means of expressing this innate desire for change. It then becomes a self-referential pattern if you will. Art– bringing to the forefront of society something hidden and unbeknownst to the majority. In turn the highly suggestible of society will imitate this art. From this process “pop” icons and influential figures are birthed creating their own phenomenon. Seemingly out of no where, stars are born and the strength of their gravitational pull draws people in. And for a time these figures tend to exercise an influence of power until their star power fizzles out and they are replaced by the next cultural icon.

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There is a thin line between art and propaganda…

Let us examine the art of hip-hop– art in form but a device in function. It serves many purposes in the modern era. A means of marketing… A means of venting… A medium to exchange knowledge… A means of individual expression…

/home/wpcom/public_html/wp-content/blogs.dir/fdb/77017821/files/2015/01/img_3946.pngIn its inception hip-hop was a pure Art form. It served as a voice of a disenfranchised portion of society—as a means to both express and provide a healthy fun outlet for individuals. Hip-hop was a four-point art form that included break dancing, DJing, graffiti display, and MCing (actual oral poetry on top of a beat– rapping). In its current state, hip-hop has become mutated into a disfigured remnant of itself. The art form has been raped, ravaged, exploited, commercialized, and pimped out to the highest bidder–and not by accident but through systematic design.

/home/wpcom/public_html/wp-content/blogs.dir/fdb/77017821/files/2015/01/img_3949.jpgThe phenomenon of hip-hop has evolved. It is a powerful force that has the ears and energy of the youth. There was a time when the art form spoke out about social injustices among the disenfranchised—it gave knowledge to the youth about who they were and could be in a positive light.

It provided quality dance music that allowed the body to freely expressive itself and tune in with energies of the natural environment. Hip-hop enlightened the youth by dropping conscious jewels. It had its flaws but it was an overall positive powerful force in American society.

But special interest became intertwined with the art. Money became their means of infiltration and manipulation. Fame became a poison, and artist placed fame above the art. Statistics and money became the major motivation of producing the art while talent and artistry began to gradually lose significance. Artist began to utilize gimmicks in aims of selling records and lost the purpose of the art form. Money became the only purpose of making the music. The art began to glorify opulence– unrealistic life styles, misogyny, violence, and drug culture. The art began to sell hope.

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Thus we have liquor companies investing heavenly into hip-hop culture—soliciting their products through song lyrics and music videos. You have the industrial prison complex having mutual interest with record labels encouraging violence and illicit drug use. You have the drug underworld “powers to be” having a vested interest in the art helping market new drugs and so forth to susceptible ears.

/home/wpcom/public_html/wp-content/blogs.dir/fdb/77017821/files/2015/01/img_3956.jpg We have the fashion-industry sponsoring artist to market their name-brands that the susceptible hold with such prestige and a manifestation of self-esteem.

And so on and so on and so on…

So hip-hop current state is in a tug-of-war.

With the advent of the Internet, music is not so much a monopoly. Generally those controlling the means of distribution and marketing the music hold all of the power. Now there are different channels for a pure artist to reach their target market. Hip-hop has a means of organically resurrecting itself. And the recent success of hip-hop artist J. Cole is encouragement enough to show that hip-hop is beginning to rebirth itself.

/home/wpcom/public_html/wp-content/blogs.dir/fdb/77017821/files/2015/01/img_3957.png(With little to no marketing, he outsold major pop-hop artist who had major labels backing them.)

People are addicted to the relate-ability and appeal of the music to their lower-selfs. Not elevating but staying within the bestial realm of the carnal senses—and this serves a purpose. So the music is marketed towards this sect. The 808s and rhythmic drums awaken and lead the subconscious, awakening the body and having it involuntarily move in conjunction with these rhythms. The mind absorbs the lyrics and registers them. The lyrics repeat over and over and begin to evoke thought. And before you know it the music becomes a part of you. You’ve imitated what you are to become. As the people begin to desire more from their music, the art form will become what it once was. The people will awaken from their comatose state, for hip-hop is the spirit of the people. As the spirit awakens the non-sense we gradually die.

Such is the nature of art it both enlightens and it condemns…

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Memoirs of a Christian on the edge… (an unfortunate Messiah)

I’m in the midst of one of my faith lapses. You know, one of those periods when I’m feeling deprived of divine presence. I feel drunk with the ambiguity of ethereal incentive. And what do you know. Out of all the days I volunteered at Jonesboro Middle School–he had to choose this day.

He had to choose this day to purge his little soul to me!

Rather, his ideal of identity to me. As though, of all people, I had the answer. What force drove him to gravitate towards me on this most auspicious of days.

“Why doesn’t God love me…Why doesn’t he love me like he does all the other families?”

And I had a good idea as to where he was coming from. I had a general understanding of the boys unfortunate background and troubled lot in life. I knew he simply wanted reassurance–encouragement that a father figure would generally invoke, but as deprived as he was of such he decided to seek this role from me.

But, he simple chose the wrong day. The most pivotal of times in a boys life, I suppose it was imminent though. Truth has an awkward way of presenting itself. I knew the appropriate thing to say, but this came out,

“Well…Maybe you should find a new God…Yours doesn’t seem to work any more.”

And I didn’t mean it like it came out, but the way he looked at me conveyed everything. He didn’t look away; he didn’t panic; a tear graced from his eye, yet he remained stoic. But unjustly on some level he understood what I meant. Of course God doesn’t love you or me. God loves his own and that’s it. Right? Only his own. He makes his own happy.

Not the likes of you and me.

30 for 30 Rand University (A response)

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A reflection upon a revealing documentary… Although, I felt the documentary was insightful, It appears to be a story within a story. A story unfulfilled because to be quite frank the story is uncomplete– a skeleton without muscle or organs. The documentary is centered around polarizing professional athlete Randy Moss (one of my favorites). Like so many other melaninated athletes the documentary depicts his plight from tremendous odds to athletic immortality. The documentary explores his troubles with the law as a youth. His psychological response to racism (a people who want you only for your athletic prowess and nothing more). Also, his perpetual fight with the myopia that the small town life fostered. And his overcoming perseverance that led to his seemingly apparent success…This documentary addresses it all.

A private figure… Randy actually opened up and shed a light upon a portion of who he is. This allowed insight into the psyche of so many young melaninated males in similar dichotomies.

I describe this as a story half told because of an aspect of the documentary that struct a nerve with me. The documentary is entitled Rand University. This is attributed to the fact that there are so many exceptional athletes produced in that region but never make it “out”. In fact most of em “end up drinking 40 ounces outside of 7-11” This is what the locals deem Rand University. All the prodigious athletes graduate high ftschool and attend an existence of nothingness and forsaken hope.

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This is an exponential tragedy because Rand University have campuses in every state in every city in every town across the United States of America. So many young men are living under a delusion.. A very strong delusion… The implanted truth that the only road to success in America is through being praised by America. The avenues to being praised or beloved or embraced by America is through physical prowess(athletics) or showmanship (musician or entertainer). This is a grave tragedy. An unspoken axiom that goes unchecked and unchallenged. And I myself am not exempt from this delusion.. Growing up, even I thought that that was the only means of “success”. I do not know where this mentality came from exactly. I do not know where it took root. It wasn’t as though I was not exposed to professionals of melanin. It just always seemed as though nothing else was attainable. It seemed “possible” and I knew I had the “ability” but it never felt real or achievable…

What general consensus has swept young melaninated people’s to put all their hope in their ability to be embraced by the masses. Without that “love” they feel worthless. Without that hope they are cursed to live a destitute life of nothingness.. As I said I am of no exception.. I was always told to go to college… But I never felt or saw an end game. This has stunted my “progress” in life. I saw college as an ends… Not a means to an end and this has left me some what stuck… Trying to figure it all out. I’m at least lucky enough to have the wherewithal to try to figure it out.. As this documentary highlights, there are so many of my brothers who simply lose hope after the initial dream is shattered.. After one run in with the law… After one ill placed tragedy… They are left with nothing…. No direction… No ambition.. And without hope!

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There is one part in the documentary that embodies this spirit. It’s when one of Randy Moss’ childhood friends who didn’t “make it out” is recounting his mishap.. Retelling how he lost his opportunity.. He simply broke down and cried. As though his world no longer had meaning because of a dream unfulfilled. Yet, in reality he is a young man… Under the age of 40… He has all the world to gain… No matter the circumstance it all can turn around… It starts with one idea and a whole lot of drive and determination.

But, so many of our brethren don’t have that idea… That thought never enters their mind. The seed just lands on harsh soil and never takes root.

Why?

How do you break this psychosis if it alone defines your reality? And you know nothing beyond your reality…

Is it the responsibility of a society to look after its individuals? Is it the responsibility of the individual to save himself by any means necessary? Is this mentality of individualism productive to the collective? How does an individual with nothing to lose react when they feel it’s them against the world? Who seeks to gain from the decisions that this individual will potentially make. Prison industrial complex? Illicit drug industry? Etc?

So we are left with an untold story. The story of one shining star. One individual who defied the odds. A survival of the fittest narrative played out to perfection. Yet, the nature of humanity isn’t so much a survival of the fittest, but a survival of the collective. The true issue is why so many individuals are innately not part of the collective unless they “earn” their way in. Why are some born on the outside looking in? Why is that generally accepted?

Why must one earn their way into a society that they have no way of escaping?

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Lost Boys… (Americaville…) (A poem by Jack)

Our only sin…

Thinking we can be anything we wanted to be…
Lofty dreams… Pompous ideals… Shot down by the arrows of depression and expectation unfulfilled..

See, this journey… We began without map.. Compass… Or sense of direction…

They call us lost boys… Animals.. Criminals… Nihilist… Without a purpose we roam… Without pride we scourge…

In cages we’re thrown… In the streets we’re gunned down… By others… By each other… By whoever…

It’s ok… Because they were lost…

Blame it on me… Blame it on the system.. Blame it on whoever… Cause it doesn’t matter… Least not to you…

So where do our lost boys go… Where is their land of milk and honey… Where do they grow to become men…

Ensnared in a vicious cycle of kidulthood… Left to roam for eternity…
40 days and 40 nights of searching and searching…
Days of ridicule… Nights of spite… Days of reprieve… Nights of intoxication…
Drowning out the voices… Drowning out the echoes..
What’s a boy to do when becoming a man is no option…
No beard… No hunting… No gathering… No family… No worth…

Devalued… Left to rot… Guilded… And the cycle continues… Another boy is born and picks up where the other left off…

They stripped us…

They raped us…

The molested us…

They robbed us of our inheritance…

Left us abandoned… Wallowing in our own filth… And told us to find our way home…

A boy can’t traverse a path designed for a man… A boy can’t go home if he has the slightest idea who he is…

All what’s left to do… But look up at the stars.. And ask.. Am I meant to be here?

Curse the stars! They snatched us from our cradle… They forced us to be their cup bearers… Passed around among em.. In a state of catharsis… Zombified… So embellished with the torture that we grow numb to it’s impact…

We simply act and do without thinking… And when they are done… We’re left to rot and birth another…

Another to be just like us… In form… In function…

Another born with original sin…another Christ forced to self-sacrifice…crucified… With no hope of resurrection…

Shambles by the Bay… (An unwritten letter for a defenseless student..)

(Modern Covert Racism: Do Groomed Locks Illicit Fear?)

Not Christopher but a close enough example to how his hair was worn...
Not Christopher but a close enough example to how his hair was worn…

To whom it may concern,

In the politically charged and racially sensitive landscape of today’s America I have found myself in the crossfire of cultural insensitivity, racism, and prejudice.  The aftermath of a power wielding institution that has not the individual in mind but merely its own power—maintaining its own survival.  This phenomenon is being personified and actualized in the form of one Denis Kane (Basketball Coach: Mission Bay High School).  I am but a student, a student who is by no means perfect but a student who is trying nonetheless. I attend classes and a big part of my life is basketball.  It takes much of my free time, and it is a large focus of my life and of whom I want to be. I work hard like my classmates, I’m a tax paying citizen like my classmates, I expect to be afforded the extracurricular activities as my classmates, and to be held to the same standard as my classmates. My dream of playing basketball is being derailed by my conviction to stand up for my personal expression and cultural freedom.  I hate that the two are conflicting but I feel obligated to take a stand as integrity leads me to do so.

Allow me to briefly explain my situation.  I, Christopher (Blank), was kicked off of the basketball team for wearing my hair in a particular fashion.  I have my hair in locks (often referred to as dreadlocks) which are common to my ancestors and have great cultural context which I will not expound upon here.  In modern society I will admit, locks have taken on a phenomenon of their own, nonetheless I keep mine neat and aesthetic.  I was told by Dennis Kane that he didn’t “like the way that I had to remove the locks from my eyes” while playing basketball and that he wanted me to fix the issue. I took the proper protocol and decided to put my locks up.   This essentially is to braid the locks in a design that would keep them from hanging in my eyes.  When Dennis Kane saw this hair style he told me that the hairstyle was “ghetto” and he didn’t want “ghetto” people going to his games.  Implicating that I could not rejoin the team until my hair was cut. This leads me to my current dilemma.

Everything is everything...
Everything is everything…

I considered conforming to this man’s demands, but upon further contemplation I feel that this issue is bigger than me.  The scope of this issue is a microcosm of a far larger phenomenon that is embedded in the psyche of the American conscious—its cultural and social implications are far grander. The intolerance and xenophobia imposed by this man’s will is merely a perpetuation of a supremacists view point—a view point expressed and felt by many that commonly leads to discrimination.  For one man to deem my hair as “ghetto” what exactly does that entail?  Am I being judged for my cultural expression? If so is it deemed with a negative connotation?  It appears that I am being punished for one man’s fears and insecurities.  And for a public institution to support this man’s decision would have far greater implications.  Because I look a particular way, he has preconceived, ill contrived notions about a hair style and he is punishing me for his misconceptions.  Now I’ve taken heed to all the young individuals in the media that look like me and brutalized by individuals that harbor adjacent mindsets.  People see an image and they take action. ( See Trayvon Martin, Romie Mims, Jordon Miles, Joquan Wallace)

If my hair is “ghetto” it is also shared by Akintunde Ahmad and many other prosperous individuals.  With Mr. Kane’s Mindset, should Mr. Ahmad not be “allowed” to play sports?  With his 5.0 grade point average should he not be admitted to Ivy League schools because his appearance is “ghetto”, “threatening”, and not up to Mr. Kane’s standards?  The fact of the matter is Mr. Kane’s rationale is solely based off his personal bias; it is bigoted, unfounded, spiteful, and unjust.

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This letter is a call to action.  I’m not asking for Dennis Kane to lose his means of income by being fired or anything of that nature.  But I am asking for him to recognize that an injustice has been done.  I am asking that this issue be brought to his attention in the manner of enlightenment not as an attack on his character.  I am asking that I be reinstated on the team and I am asking that no retaliation be taken upon me.  I do fear, that when a man who feels he has a secured arena of power and has that powered threatened, that he will be naturally inclined to retaliate.

Thank you for taking the time to hear my side of the story.

All for the good,

 

Christopher (Blank)

 

(Update: Since this letter was written, I regret to inform you that the above student did indeed cut his hair.  His fear kept him from going through with the letter.  I don’t know if it made a difference with him being on the team or not, for it is my personal belief that this coach had a bias against him.)

(I initially was going to leave out the coaches name school, but upon further thought the only innocent person here is the young man.)