ATLANTA, GA – NOVEMBER 17: Place kicker Wesley Wells #38 of the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets celebrates with teammates after kicking a field goal during the fourth quarter in their game against the Virginia Cavaliers at Bobby Dodd Stadium on November 17, 2018 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Michael Chang/Getty Images)This past Sunday, Georgia Tech defensive lineman Brandon Adams, just 21 years old, passed away unexpectedly. Adams reportedly collapsed at a house near campus and was rushed to the hospital, but did not survive.Unfortunately, what one Georgia Tech coach tweeted in the aftermath has gotten a lot of press. Brent Key, an assistant who recently came over to Georgia Tech after working at Alabama, tweeted something rather tone deaf.The same day that Adams passed away, Georgia Tech received a commitment from a four-star cornerback named Miles Brooks. Key tweeted about both bits of news at the same time.“GT has always, and will continue to attract GREAT MEN. Today we lost a GREAT MAN, and gained another GREAT MAN! Even in dark days the future is bright.”This is #not how you show respect a valued #teammember #teammate who passed away #dobetter #BrentKey #BrandonAdams #awkward #muppet pic.twitter.com/fguZnD9mwE— ohsixoneoh (@ohsixoneoh) March 27, 2019Obviously, he wasn’t trying to equate the death of a player with the commitment of another player. But many think the tweet comes off that way.Key, who got crushed after posting the tweet, eventually deleted it and posted somewhat of an apology. Here’s what he had to say:I’m devastated by the loss of a great man. I never meant to disrespect Brandon, his family, or the legacy he left. RIP Big B— Coach Brent Key (@CoachBrentKey) March 25, 2019Obviously, the Georgia Tech community is devastated after Adams’ death. This situation didn’t make it any better.It’s unlikely that Georgia Tech takes any action against Key here, since the post wasn’t meant to be offensive. But it’s a good lesson for other coaches to watch what they tweet in difficult times.
Volker Türk, made the comments in a key address on Thursday at the UNHCR’s annual Executive Committee Session held in Geneva, where he called for a “more empathic and humane dialogue” focusing on human dignity, to counter fraught debates about refugees.The world is “facing a watershed moment where two sets of values have emerged,” he said. On the one hand, the Global Compact on Refugees has been developed, with 193 UN Member States joining in a constructive multilateral approach to the issue. Mr Türk said it showed what “can be achieved when we choose to rise above short-term interests to find a common way forward.”We need to confront the xenophobia, racism, nativism, and bigotry, often driven by fear, anger, and anxieties within communities – Volker Türk, UNHCR protection chiefIn contrast, he said, some states are succumbing to populist pressures and shirking their responsibilities, at a time when war and persecution have uprooted a record 68.5 million children, women and men worldwide.“We need to confront the xenophobia, racism, nativism, and bigotry, often driven by fear, anger, and anxieties within communities. These are often used to deflect responsibility as a pretext for demolishing institutions of liberal democracy. This ultimately has a corrosive effect on everyone.”Respect for dignity must be the antidote to dehumanization, said Mr Türk, underlining how hatred and violence had their origins in reducing individuals and groups to one or two characteristics, which “denigrates, and dehumanizes, challenging the inherent dignity of all.”On the subject of statelessness and nationality, Mr Türk said that stateless people have told him how they feel invisible, as if they have “fallen through the cracks and do not matter,” and that “individuals are not objects to be governed by the powerful, but are subjects of law, endowed with dignity and entitled to a legal identity.”Factors fueling conflict and violence must be addressed as a matter of priority, he said, “including the arms trade, extraction industries, the acquisition of land for mining and other purposes, inequality, authoritarianism and environmental change and degradation.”Mr Türk expressed his surprise that some of the countries that have benefited most from international cooperation and trade are amongst the least willing to be part of international or regional frameworks on population movements, including refugees.His comments echoed those made on Monday by Filippo Grandi, United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, in his opening statement to the Executive Committee Session.Mr. Grandi contrasted the decision of countries near regions of conflict or other crises, to those further afield, often rich countries, which are closing borders and “pushing people away,” adding “Today, when I engage with the leaders of countries neighbouring those in crisis, how am I to tell them to take more people, when some in richer countries are discussing how to close their doors?”The UNHCR’s annual Executive Commission session ends on Friday.