Monday, July 11, 2011

Tennis at San Quentin

So often the media focuses on negative stories of incarcerated individuals. We hear about prison riots, smuggling of contraband, and the occasional escape. We rarely, however, hear about some of the positive things that go on behind the bars.

Sports Illustrated recently ran a story about the tennis team at San Quentin State Prison. The author of the article, Marc Howard, went to San Quentin to play with and alongside the inmates.

My favorite quote in the article...
"Playing tennis in the notorious San Quentin sounds oxymoronic. But within the confines of a tennis court, these men are learning to play inside the lines. And tennis may be giving some of them the hope of finding a new direction in their lives."

I think one reason I appreciated this article was that the author didn't just end there. Instead, he took the time to write about the individuals on the tennis team. He acknowledge their skills and abilities. He didn't simply group them together and call them inmates or prisoners. He talked about them as people. Flawed people, but people.

Click here to read more.