I’m So Much More Than Just a Student Athlete; I’m Also a Golden Retriever.

By HUGO HENTOFF Sep. 7, 2017

At Bowdoin, we’re supposed to be “at home in all lands,” but recently I’ve noticed that my peers have been reducing me to just a single part of my identity. Yes, I am on the basketball team, but that’s not all there is too me. I’m so much more than just a good-looking jock who drops mad buckets; I’m also a golden retriever whose unlikely friendship with a fatherless 12-year-old boy let America feel again. Also I’m a psych major.

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Discrimination against athletes is second only to discrimination against purebred golden retrievers

When people look at me, it’s like all they see is my jersey. When a professor asks the class, “Who’s a good boy?” no one expects the big, dumb jock to know the answer. If they ever bothered to just look past my gorgeous blond hair and record-breaking vertical leap, they’d know that it’s me. I’m the good boy.

Athletics are a big part of my life. I wouldn’t be who I am today if it weren’t for that technicality in the official basketball rulebook whereby it never explicitly prohibits dogs from playing the sport. And if it weren’t for the rush I get from stepping onto the court each game, I’d probably be dead right now, like almost every other dog born in the mid-1990’s. Basketball is part of me. I’m not trying to deny that. But it’s not all of me.

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