UPDATE (N): Looks like Sean has posted an apology:
On Sunday night, I wrote a commentary about NYC marathon winner Meb Keflezighi. Keflezighi, who is a naturalized U.S. citizen, was born in the African country of Eritrea. The post was intended to be a humorous take on America's inability to groom homegrown runners into winners of major marathons and that in order to boast victory in major races, America must rely on athletes born elsewhere. As I re-read the commentary, coupled with comments from readers on this site and others, I think it's pretty clear that I did not do a good job of writing that nor in researching my topic. As many have pointed out, had I done a bit more research I probably would have realized that almost everything Keflezighi has done in his running career has been in the U.S., where he has lived since he was 12.
I apologize to Keflezighi for slighting his achievement, which is a spectacular one regardless of his nationality, and to anyone who was offended by the post. Regardless of where he came from and how he got to where he is today, Keflezighi's triumph isn't just a great American story, it's a great human story. Hopefully that's not lost on everyone.
Well that is a move in the positive direction. However, the more I read the "apology" it seems half-hearted at best. Also, I still don't get exactly what "humorous" perspective he was going for. It's really sad that he even went there to begin with and had to be pushed to publish this post. GO BRUINS. - N
My open letter to Messrs Keeley and Rovell regarding their comments about former Bruin and American winner of the NYC Marathon, Meb Keflezighi.
Technically, Mr. Keeley and Mr. Rovell, you are both Americans...Kinda
Mr. Keeley, I see from your SB*NATION bio that you are an American, simply by an accident of birth. Mr. Rovell, I can't tell from your bio if you're truly an American, since you don't cite the location of your birth or the date of your naturalization. I guess you probably think we can tell just by looking at your picture that you're a true-blue flag-waving patriot. I have some questions for the two of you:
What's more fundamentally American than arriving in this country at the age of 12, the child of an immigrant family that was escaping a troubled country? What's more American than bouncing back from from an injury in the 2007 Olympic trials, so painful Keflezighi wondered if he'd walk again? What's more American than running in honor of fellow American marathoner Ryan Shay who died during those same 2007 Olympic trials? What's more American than having your brothers lead their San Diego High School team to a CIF title and yourself being awarded Union-Tirbune All-Academic Athlete Team Captain two years in a row? What's more American than being awarded a full scholarship to UCLA and accepting because of both its academic and athletic balance?
My family immigrated to the U.S. a year before I was born. Were they not in the country long enough for me to be considred a full American in your eyes? I mean, maybe I was conceived on the way to the streets paved with gold. My brothers arrived with my parents at the ages of one, five and twelve. My sister did not arrive until many years later. Along with my late parents, they are all naturalized citizens and have succeeded in this country: two family businesses; a community college graduate and LA County Engineer; three UCLA graduates: a Professor of Dentistry, a Public Health Phd, and an IT guy. Mr. Keeley, if you met one of us on the street, Which one of us would you look in our foreign-looking face and say, "You're only technically an American?" Mr. Rovell, would you tell me the difference between me and my siblings, since I am, in your words, an "American-born product" and my siblings are just American citizens?
Mr. Keeley and Mr. Rovell, you are both fully American. *sigh* Unfortunately, you both seem to embody the attributes of what many Americans are becoming. Entitled: "I was born here, so I don't have to do a thing to earn my citizenship and that means more than you naturalized citizens." Ignorant: "Free speech allows me to say anything I want!" No need to do any research and gather facts before jumping to conclusions. Lazy: How hard would it have been to check out Keflezighi's background? Mr. Rovell, even your apology is lacking. You should apologize for not doing one iota of research before jumping on your cynical story line (Keflezighi being a "ringer"). Had you done your homework, you could have written just the opposite story of what it really means to be an American. You fail at "Reporting 101."
Everyone needs to "contribute" to Keeley's comment threads. He owes SBNation and BN an apology for his unfounded slight of a true Bruin. The same goes for CNBC's "reporter" Rovell, despite his weak apology.