That sound you hear is that of a giant falling
Re “In ad, Orr endorses Trump: Bruins legend appears in pages of N.H. paper” (Metro, Oct. 31): Robert Gordon Orr, the embodiment of team play whom we have long admired for much more than his unparalleled skills on a sheet of ice, has emphatically endorsed Donald Trump for president in an ad in the Manchester Union-Leader. It’s difficult to read that Bobby Orr believes President Trump exemplifies the moral fortitude, compassion, and leadership expected of a president of the United States.
Those of us who followed his great NHL career are well aware that it was shortened by many unwarranted hits to his knees. I believe his endorsement of a man so devoid of a moral compass might well cause warranted hits to Number 4′s credibility and reputation.
Do we have another statue that should be removed from public view?
NHL legend is asking us to overlook a lot
So Bobby Orr asks us to overlook the president’s tweets. Should we also overlook children separated from their parents, probably permanently, at the border? Should we overlook a head-in-the-sand response to the coronavirus pandemic, rendering us the world’s most badly affected country? Should we overlook a rogues' gallery of corrupt Cabinet appointees enriching themselves and their corporate pals? Should we overlook a series of nods and winks to white supremacists? Should we overlook the more than 20,000 falsehoods, most recently the heinous claim that doctors are exaggerating COVID-19 deaths to make more money?
The man is beneath contempt — Trump, that is.
As for Orr, I’m dumbfounded.
Orr has risen in this fan’s estimation
So the greatest puck carrier in NHL history, retired and mostly out of the spotlight for 42 years, isn’t allowed to express an opinion? A man beloved for his hockey heroics shouldn’t even consider expressing support for a president unpopular with the media, lest he offend his fans? Must he remain politically obedient for the sake of his image?
I’m not so sure that Bobby Orr wakes up in the morning worried about his image, making sportswriter Kevin Paul Dupont’s preoccupation with it telling, given where the media comes down in today’s highly partisan political climate (“Orr’s image may take a hit,” Sports, Nov. 1).
Orr’s image and his self are one and the same. It has been pretty much set with both the public and the media since 1966. That’s what makes his public endorsement of the president even more courageous. He knows he’ll take a hit in the media, but it is his support of the president’s policies, rather than the man himself, that compels him to speak out. Trump’s opponents have never been able to get their minds around this distinction. As a lifelong fan of Orr’s, I admire him even more for what he’s done.
Sean F. Flaherty
Consider her now a former fan club member
It is with a heavy heart that I no longer consider myself a 50-year member of the Bobby Orr Fan Club. “It’s about policies and the people those policies assist,” Orr writes, in endorsing Donald Trump for president. Where shall I begin: The wall? The Muslim ban? Children in cages? The “very fine” people in Charlottesville, Va.? The more than 231,000 American lives lost, and counting? An economy in shambles? And the lies, the lies, the lies?
I think Orr needs to stick to golf with fellow Trump booster Jack Nicklaus.
He’s always dismissed athletes spouting off, but this demands a cross-check
For the first time in my life, I really care what a great athlete has said about something important.
When Ted Williams gave the finger to boobirds, I realized that his great contributions to Boston sports were being ignored by ingrates with short memories — people who couldn’t appreciate the greatest hitter in Red Sox history, a war hero, and a man who probably contributed more to the Jimmy Fund’s success than anyone else.
I have learned that off-the-cuff comments by athletes have about the same level of insight and validity as those of cabdrivers, bartenders, lawyers, plumbers, doctors, or high-wire walkers, unless any of them are talking about their own particular professional arena.
So, Bobby Orr should be looked at the same way, right? Actually, when it comes to the greatest hockey player in Boston’s history, and one of the greatest players ever to wear a uniform in any league, I have to pause and admit we cannot ignore what he says. He has the power to sway people, just because he has been so uncontroversial while maintaining an aura of honesty and kindheartedness.
Endorsing the worst president since Andrew Johnson for reelection is not something to be ignored. Orr is now deeply tarnished. His pandering to a vicious, misogynistic egomaniac disqualifies him from the pantheon of American heroes. To my mind, he’s just another yokel shooting the breeze who decided to share his unqualified wisdom with the rest of us.