I wanted to take the time to address the community given that this has been such a strange year. We’re living in a world that has been dominated by talk of pandemics, by the impact of an economic recession and with uncomfortable conversations on social issues that have deep roots in our history.
We are desperately looking forward to life returning to “normal” and for football to officially return. Our staff has been exhausted and depressed, as I know many in our community have been, with the lack of football. This seems like the longest offseason ever.
I want to address commenting on stories on the front page that involve team responses to police shootings, concerns about social injustice, and what has become a very active conversation about disparate racial treatment in law enforcement — one that took on a whole new life after an officer knelt on George Floyd’s neck in Minnesota for so long that he died.
We want our community to understand that any statements made by writers here are not reflective of the opinions of Stampede Blue, SB Nation or Vox Media. Like each member of the community, the writers are people with their own opinions, perspectives, and backgrounds. Please don’t mistake our refusal to censor these opinions as an endorsement of them.
We also recognize that under these strange circumstances, where sports and political/social issues have been thrust so closely together, conversations in comments are likely going to look much different than normal. I have personally sent an email to our primary site moderator with my concerns about how some of the comment moderation has been managed.
I want to make very clear that it is my opinion, as site manager, that there are two options on how to proceed in light of the circumstances.
The first is to ignore altogether any issue, even if it involved a team action or comments made by a team leader, that isn’t entirely football related. In essence, we put on our blinders, don’t discuss the historic events that have impacted sports — primarily pandemic and social justice related — and search for new ways to create discussion during a period where access to the team and activity is much slower than it would be in a normal year.
The second choice is to facilitate discussion, as only through discussion will there be progress made — and that includes progress for those from any/either perspective as we face these issues. To me, that means we can’t police thought and we can’t moderate out opinions that challenge the perspectives of other community members because it makes those members upset or uncomfortable.
It’s okay to to acknowledge that context is important in these matters. Without context, how can we hope to make meaningful and effective change? However, it’s also okay for some who learn more about the context around these matters to feel that it doesn’t justify the act. This isn’t unique to racial or social issues. These debates and the standard to determine what is and isn’t appropriate rages on in court rooms all across the country all the time.
I’d encourage members of the community to not jump to conclusions on the basis of differing opinions. One mustn’t be racist to support or oppose the BLM organization. If a line in the sand is drawn that suggests anyone who supports an organization is good or accepted and anyone who doesn’t is evil, society won’t get anywhere. Our community won’t get anywhere.
This community is built upon a love for the game of football and maniac level support for the Indianapolis Colts. This is what bonds us together in our homes or in Lucas Oil Stadium, or when we travel to road games, every weekend during football season.
Would all Colts fans be friends away from football? Probably not. Does every Colts fan have the same political beliefs? Uh no. Colts fans are comprised of people from every walk of life, background, and childhood experience imaginable. That’s okay. Hell, that’s what makes it so cool to be alive today. We’re all here.
We’ll make a promise to do our best to improve site moderation consistent with these thoughts. We’ll continue to warn/ban/delete posts that directly incite hate, that blatantly violate reasonable community guidelines, etc. but we’ll try to do better about making sure meaningful conversation on this topic is allowed.
Keep things civil. Choose your words carefully. Avoid lumping people into groups or labels. I suspect conversations will get further following those rules.