Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Citizen-By-Choice Marathon Winner

In case you missed it, last weekend was the New York Marathon. I love that marathon and dream of running it one day. When I was growing up in Pennsylvania, we got the New York television station. This was BC - Before Cable. It was a "get off the couch and turn the TV dial to pick one of 10 channels" world. Most years, I'd see the marathon on TV and I'd think, "those people are crazy, but I sure want to do that".

This year the men's race was won by the USA's, Meb Keflezighi. That's the first win for the US in nearly 3 decades. He ran a blistering 2:09:15. That's faster than I run a half marathon.

Of course, he's not enough red, white and blue for boneheads like Darren Rovell at CNBC. Rovell's problem with Keflezighi is that his family immigrated to the US when he was 12. His family left Eritrea, a small country in Africa, because army troops from neighboring Ethiopia would kidnap teenage boys a force them to fight in their guerrilla war. (Gee, my parents worried about me falling off the swing set at the park.) Keflezighi's father walked 600 miles to Sudan to make immigration possible for his family.

By all accounts, the Keflezighi family have worked hard to succeed once they got to the United States. Meb went to San Diego High School then on to UCLA where two of his sisters went also - one to med school and the other to law school. And in 1998, he took his test and swore his oath and became a US citizen. End of story.

Looking at the article, I find Rovells original article insulting and stupid; his follow up apology is even worse. Here is what he said, "Nothing against Keflezighi, but he's like a ringer who you hire to work a couple hours at your office so that you can win the executive softball league." No, Meb Keflezighi's like any of the hard working citizen-by-choice immigrants who got to this country and worked to be successful.

The photo is the one used by CNBC for the story. Oh, the irony - it burns. Photo credit Don Emmert, Getty Images.
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