Re: "Basketball controversies: In the name of protecting kids, there's a movement to take their sports equipment away" by Mick Dumke and Kevin Warwick, September 22
Editor's note: This story elicited dozens of impassioned comments on the Reader's website; here are just a few.
When you do not allow an outlet for kids, students to play basketball, you're allowing gang violence to win. Basketball gives kids something to do. Taking it away for reasons like possible drug dealing/gang recruitment sends the message to gang members that they hold the power in this town. How about asking for more community involvement, from the alderman on down? Police should be keeping drug dealers and gang recruiters off the streets in the first place. Taking the kids' hoops down makes it evident that the city has lost control. You cannot tell me this isn't racially motivated, especially in Lincoln Park. Kids are gonna fight, kids are gonna do drugs, and they're most certainly going to turn to gang involvement if there isn't anything better on the tables for them to do with their time. —Nicole A. Winter
I can see both sides of the debate, but I choose giving kids a place to play ball over being afraid. If there are gang concerns, address them like you would in any other location in the city. Hire patrols, put up more lighting, whatever. But to take away hoops with nothing to replace them? Idle hands are the devil's workshop. Let the kids play. And yes, I am quite sure this is racially motivated. Unfortunate. Thanks for shining a light on this. —Lamprey
Gotta say, crime has fallen since the hoops have been down. The ends justify the means. —Uptown Neighbor
The people up in arms about this crying racism are the same ones with kids who are most likely getting in trouble. Perhaps they should mind the matters at home before they start worrying about the basketball hoops at a park. Where's their priorities. Stop crying racism at everything. It really is getting old. —Uptown Resident