Covington Shames Us

Henry Houston’s portrait of fighter Colby Covington (“Nerd Bashing Time,” Aug. 16) excuses his Trumpian jingoism as pro-wrestling pageantry. Houston insists that “despite his current trash talking, he’s still…{a} nice guy.”

We’re supposed to accept that Covington’s statements, including his dismissal of Brazilian MMA fans as “filthy animals” and his praise for Mr. Trump as a “champion of the people,” are mere posturing — that “He does it for the business, so he can then give back.”

A little racism and fascism is fine, because Covington cares about the Thurston wrestling program.

As part of the local wrestling community, I can confirm that Thurston has always been a class act. The wrestlers I grew up with in Lane County were kind, decent young men who earned respect through hard work.  The color of your skin or the language your family spoke was irrelevant when you stepped on the mat — only your heart and toughness mattered.

That Covington became an NCAA All-American speaks to his mettle — wrestling at that level is demanding, and certainly Mr. Covington is an excellent fighter.

Yet Covington’s support of Mr. Trump’s nativism, which directs violence and hatred against the most vulnerable among us, is not victimless grandstanding. Covington is in a position of influence and strength — and childishly beats his chest in self-celebration. He betrays the values of the sport he claims to love. We deserve a better champion — Covington shames us.

Michael Copperman


Editor’s note: Copperman, a local writer, was a three-time OSAA state finalist and wrestled for Stanford.

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