Former Trail Blazers forward Martell Webster has made a couple of disturbing tweets over the last 24 hours. Making the call for Blazer’s Edge, I am choosing not to quote or re-post them. One is an admission of what he characterizes as an abusive relationship with his wife.
It‘s always hard to know how to handle such things. The comments under the relationship tweet already show a lack of understanding about the complex dynamics (and potential harm) of relationships in which abuse might be involved. Throwing a spotlight on that issue and opening discussion without context is problematic. Appearing to gain advantage by using the subject--or people‘s pain--for page views is both voyeuristic and repugnant. But ignoring the tweet inevitably leads to the discussion happening in similarly problematic ways in different venues, often including our own comment sections. It could also lead some to believe that we don’t consider the matter important.
Instead of going down that road, here’s my response. I don’t know what went on with Martell Webster. I don’t know why it’s coming to light on social media. A million things could be in play, anything from unimaginable horror to his account being hacked. My judgment in those matters won’t change anything. I do know that people do suffer in abusive relationships and I know organizations in my area that help them find safety, health, and wholeness. I’m writing a $100 check to one of those local organizations today. In that way, I can make a real, positive change. Rather than searching tweets and making proclamations, I invite readers of Blazer’s Edge to do the same.
I know this isn’t the “sports journalistic” response to tweets like this, but I think sometimes it’s more important to be human. To the extent this gets discussed, here or elsewhere, please also endeavor to make a positive difference in your community.