Even if we ask for forgiveness and do the right thing, there are some who would want to anchor down our souls forever.
Case in point, does anyone remember the rap group 2 Live Crew? There is a good chance that not many of the football players at Miami’s Northwestern High School do. According to Andy Staples' SI.com article, the football players weren’t even born when Luther Campbell drew the ire of and everyone else on the planet looking to bring the hammer down on rap music.
For the past four years, Campbell has been coaching high school football in his hometown of Miami. He is now defensive coordinator for Northwestern. Dressed in Northwestern’s blue sweater vest, white pants, a yellow visor and a slightly pudgy belly, Campbell looks every bit like a football coach than and his microphone-holding, t-shirt peeled off look that made him the object of scorn among conservatives in the 1980s and 90s.
Football is one of the few activities that young African-American men look forward to with positive experiences in hopes to growing beyond the mean streets there. Campbell has dedicated himself in helping them find the way.
But there’s one problem.
Campbell has been coaching with temporary certification. Now he needs a fulltime certification to continue. An administrative judge has given Campbell the green light but the Florida Department of Education appealed, putting Campbell’s certification in limbo.
The SI.com article quotes students who he helped into Florida State, Stetson, Hampton, Marshall and other football programs. He grew up on the same tough streets as the students and when he speaks, he has their undivided attention. Campbell’s pay for this dedication – $1,200. Yes, he still gets music industry royalty checks and doesn’t need the money.
He said he’s doing it because he’s tired of seeing kids lose their way – or their lives – in the neighborhood he grew up in. It’s his chance to make a difference.
But during Campbell’s recent administrative hearing, what came up more than his coaching and teaching ability? The lyrics to the song “Me So Horny,” among other old songs. There are some concerns that Campbell still makes occasional club appearances.
Retired attorney Jack Thompson, a Campbell nemesis since his 2 Live Crew days, told the administrative judge: “I commend him for wanting to do this, but who is Luther Campbell right now? Is he new and improved and had a Road to Damascus epiphany, or does he still have his hand in this?”
That’s hardly fair. Campbell has proven himself, one saved soul on a college football field at a time. I’m not defending Campbell’s 2 Live Crew days. They were what they were. What Campbell does have is the ability to change lives for the better. That’s worth more than any forgotten 1980s song lyrics I know.