Op-Ed: Athletes Offer Important Contributions In and Out of the Classroom

Contemplating Kant

Contemplating Kant

If there is one thing no Columbia student will ever forget concerning their undergraduate experience, it is how the Core Curriculum helped shape their lives. This invaluable part of college is made possible only by the timeless contributions of the student athlete community. From their classic one liners such as “Sorry, I’ve been up since 6 today,” to their heroic willingness to raise their hands mid-way through a professor’s rant, getting called on, and then saying, “Never mind, I was going to say what you just said,” life at Columbia would be unimaginable without student athletes.

The effect these local champions have on the community goes beyond all their hard work and contributions in the classroom. If not for the athletes, who else would the dining hall workers serve breakfast to? Athletes are more valuable to Columbia than just what they do on the field, or rink, or whatever it is that crew people do their thing on. Without them, on whom would you blame your Harvard rejection?

The physically inferior should be quick to show their appreciation for the athletes, such as Marissa Harkley, CC ‘19, who summed it up by saying, “There is nothing more integral to my Lit Hum class than the timely contributions that those two athletes give. They only speak roughly once every three classes, but that just shows how pensive they are, and in a class full of verbose show-offs, I really appreciate their concise responses.”

“Some people think athletes are just empty-headed mountains of flesh,” said Marcus Johnson SEAS ‘17.  “But I don’t think that’s important.  What matters is that they’re our empty-headed mountains of flesh.”

“Every time I get in a packed elevator with a group of reeking athletes who get off in three floors, I cannot help but think, ‘Thank you for working so tirelessly for my community that walking up three flights of stairs is too draining,’” Johnson continued. “It is moments like these that define our lives at Columbia, as nothing would be the same without the student athletes. For many students, these athletes give them the drive to succeed, because nothing says ‘roar lions roar’ like watching that drowsy athlete in your Art Hum class close his eyes for ten minutes as he deeply considers the effects of impressionist art on our lives. I want to pat him on the shoulder and say, ‘Don’t think too hard, little fella! You’re going to sprain something.’”

Enough with the condescension.  Be grateful for all that athletes have done for you, your community, and the curve on your Intro to Psych final.  Each time I pass an athlete walking to a fluffy polisci lecture or pretending to read in Butler, I tip my head and say, “Thank you for your service.”  It’s time that the rest of the Columbia community equally acknowledge the brave souls who put their bodies on the line each day to prop up the rest of our egos.