December 23, 2008

Basking in Bradford's glow

Native Americans Proud of Bradford’s HeismanSince Sam Bradford won the Heisman Trophy, the most prestigious individual honor in college football, earlier this month, Native Americans have been basking in the glow.

They see the talented quarterback, a registered Cherokee and finance major with a 3.95 GPA, as a significant role model for aspiring young athletes who share his heritage.

Bradford, who is from Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, is a sophomore quarterback at the University of Oklahoma and only the second sophomore ever to win the trophy that goes to the Most Outstanding College Football Player in the United States.

“Having an intelligent, well-spoken, poised Cherokee citizen play quarterback for the Sooners means a lot to Cherokee people all over the country, not just the ones here in Oklahoma,” says Chad Smith, the principal chief of the Cherokee Nation. “It means that people see a different image of Cherokees than the ones they may have had before, but it’s also a reflection to our community of the success we can achieve for ourselves and our families, our children and grandchildren.”

Smith adds that the chance to see “a Cherokee succeed at the highest level of college football, and to do it while keeping his GPA at 3.95, shows the values that we have always treasured in Cherokee society: education, selflessness and working together as part of a team or community.”
Comment:  Ah. Now I see a good reason to consider Bradford a role model. It's not his success at throwing a ball around a field. It's doing so while while maintaining a 3.95 GPA.

Yes, that's something Native children should emulate. Go to college, major in a serious subject, and get good grades. And if you have time for extracurricular activities, so much the better.

Funny that none of the articles on Bradford have mentioned his scholastic success until now. I wonder why that is. Could it be that a few people admired Bradford for the wrong reason: because he won football games? Hmm.

For more on the subject, see Native Athletes Who Do Good, Two Sooner Role Models, and Jocks Aren't Good Role Models.

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