Champion’s no champion


The name Robert Champion is now synonymous with the dark, haunting truth of hazing. It has become a constant reminder of what can happen when the human psyche is allowed to make one feel as though they aren’t good enough. Champion’s name will forever be associated with the personal tragedy of feeling unworthy.

Last week, Florida A&M determined that it was not taking the blame in the lawsuit by Champion’s parents. The university insisted that it wasn’t responsible for his death.

FAMU stated that 26-year-old Champion was a “top leader in the band” who should have refused to participate in the ritual.

So who’s to blame for the death of Champion? The answer: Robert Champion and his parents.

When news broke that FAMU wanted the charges dropped against them, the Champions immediately held a press conference declaring that FAMU demoralized their son.

“As a mother, I have to wonder what kind of people are we entrusting our students to,” Pam Champion said. “They clearly didn’t care about my son, who thought the world of this school, who would always promote it and talk it up. Robert did all the right things. The school didn’t do him right.”

I have a problem with that. Pam Champion needs to realize that her son wasn’t an 18-year-old freshman who didn’t know any better. Robert Champion was a near 30-year-old man who was failing school and had no intent to graduate in the near future. As his mother, she should’ve instilled in him the importance of getting his education and that extracurricular activities weren’t a priority.

If Champion had done all the “right things”, he wouldn’t have been killed. As his mother, her job was to upkeep and manage the child she brought into this world – to give him counsel,

Had Champion’s parents been as passionate about him successfully matriculating as they are about finding a scapegoat for their son’s bad decisions, this whole incident could’ve been avoided.

In the Bible, Proverbs 22:6 says that if you train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it. Had Champion upheld the proper foundation from the start, his entire mindset would’ve been different.

And if they are looking for a  person to blame, let them first point the finger at themselves.