Jeff Porchak's Blog
Don't Be Afraid, You're Among Friends
Published: February 28, 2011 11:42 am ET
Last Comment: March 6, 2011 1:34 am ET | 3 Comment(s) | Jump to Comments
Ever have a great conversation with someone about the state of the harness racing industry and feel deflated when it's over because you know that no one else will ever hear anything that was said?
We have some very smart people in this business. People with great ideas, people with insight who could challenge existing barriers and provide new perspective. People who fear repercussion of their right to an opinion, aired publicly and signed with a name.
Within the last month on the SC website one person publicly refrained from comment when asked about a situation by inferring that if they spoke what was on their mind, there could be some sort of trouble unrelated to their comments. Why should one person's opinion about an off-track issue affect anything that happens on the track?
I give Jack Darling a lot of credit for publishing his opinions in a forum that openly encourages discussion. Very few lay it on the line like he does. But whether or not you agree with him is immaterial; the fact of the matter is he opens up the floor and gets people talking, and the industry desperately needs this level of discourse.
No one should feel as though their opinion doesn't matter. No one should feel as though they can't have their say. No one should feel as though constructive criticism and open discussion will prompt a backlash that will hurt their bottom line. Is there so much insecurity that a properly framed comment or suggestion can't be offered? No rants. No swearing. No hidden agendas. No personal attacks. Just open and fair discussion.
The participants need to open up their hearts, mouths, ears and minds. The industry needs to put on their big boy pants.
Perhaps people don't want to be public about it; for some that could be a big leap and I understand. I hope that people are at least issuing comments on the state of racing through the 2011 Industry Report Card. If you haven't, I say speak now or forever hold your peace. In the words of Peter Heffering from his 2010 Hall Of Fame induction speech, “Focus on finding the solution or forfeit your right to complain." Through open discussion, hopefully we can find solutions.