Thursday, September 29, 2011

On Little Al's Suspension

I feel like I would be remiss if I did not at least briefly address Al Unser, Jr.’s indefinite suspension from INDYCAR. It’s a reminder that our heroes are human, and that they have their demons to battle the same as all of us. It’s sad and disappointing, but it’s also reality. These legends aren’t bronze statues, and turning a blind eye to their problems or trivializing them instead of recognizing their accomplishment in light of these struggles, does them a grave disservice.

While I agree with INDYCAR’s suspension, above all else I simply hope he finds the help he needs. Little Al isn’t just that driver who found a way to win the Indy 500 twice, or someone working Race Control. He’s a man with people who care about him, and who he affects in turn. He’ll be in my thoughts and prayers through the rest of the season and beyond.

1 comment:

  1. Very well said.

    I am just saddened by the news. I listened to a two hour long Sunday interview on 1070TheFan with Little Al back in May and he discussed his alcohol addiction quite candidly. I was proud of him for discussing it and being so honest about it and how he was changing his life around. He talked about how much he enjoyed being involved in Indycar again and his race control duties. He talked about how his life was much better and clearer now that he had admitted his addiction problems and seeked help.

    So now, I am truly saddened to hear that he has slipped up/regressed to old ways. Alcoholics have to fight the urge to drink every single day. I hope he gets up and starts that fight again.

    For his sake, I hope he can turn things around again in his life. All I can do is send my thoughts and prayers to the Unser family. They are my all time favorite racing family. I think we are all guilty at times of placing our heroes on pedestals. I hope he seeks help again.

    I won't pass judgement on him; this is a very human issue. My thoughts are with him as a person now, not as a racing icon.

    Little Al, I'm pulling for you again to win the battle!