Below is a letter from the University at Albany lacrosse coach, Scott Marr – regarding his relationship with the current conflict at Standing Rock.
Dear Lacrosse Community,
As I walked today, I reflected on our game of lacrosse, worrying that the larger the game gets the further we get from the knowledge and understanding of its Native American origins. The game of lacrosse is a gift from the Creator of the Americans native to this country, which fortunately has been shared with us to play, coach and watch. Coaches I know across all levels, including myself, make attempts to translate this history, along with our profound respect for the game to our players, parents and fans. My recent trip to the Standing Rock Reservation in North Dakota with Onondaga natives, Lyle Thompson; his wife, Amanda; their three young daughters; and Bill O’Brien provided me with the unique experience of participating in the game as it was intended — as a medicine game, played for healing and peace — which I hope will improve my own translation. However, at this time just improving that translation is not enough. Action is needed.
As we move past Thanksgiving and prepare for our upcoming winter holidays and spring lacrosse seasons, these people are energetically preparing for winter, continuing to fight and possibly die for the basic rights of safety for their people and the sovereignty of their land and culture. I continue my own personal activism by appealing to each of you, as members of an ever growing lacrosse community to work to enlighten yourself to the plights of the Native American peoples, particularly those of the Standing Rock nation by reading information available in major newpapers, on standwithstandingrock.net, and Twitter (#NoDAPL, #Standingwith Standing Rock, #WaterIsLife). I am in hopes that your enlightenment will result in your vocal support for the human rights of Native Americans and our environment, and that our lacrosse communities will band together in meaningful and hopefully, creative forms of action. An old Native American saying recognizes, “When the last tree has been cut down, the last fish caught, the last river poisoned, only then will we realize that one cannot eat money.”
I feel strongly that in order to continue to play, coach, ref and enjoy the game of lacrosse with respect for its origins we need a call to action. Use social media to get the message out to as many people as possible. Call your congressmen, or even call the White House (202) 456-1111 to leave a message in support of stopping the pipeline. Finally, I urge you all to visit the standwithstandingrock.net site and sign the petition to stop the pipeline permanently in a sign of lacrosse community solidarity. Our unified voices will make a difference.
Scott C. Marr
Head Men’s Lacrosse Coach
University at Albany
Let’s start with the obvious – no one gives a shit about lacrosse, but that’s not the point, and that’s coming from a dude who played the sport for going on ten years. In any event – this is awesome stuff given the circumstances. To summate – Marr has been the coach and Ualb for a good while and they’re currently in their best stretch ever as a program. That stretch came in no small part with the help of the Thompsons (brothers and cousins) at different times been ’09 and ’14 – I think, I’m kinda drunk writing this from Norway but you get the point. Anyway all the Thompsons are native Americans and a lot of the extended family played for Syracuse in the past but two of the Albany dudes might be the best lacrosse players, like ever – and natives see lacrosse as a religious entity, essentially.
I’ll attest to Marr being a flat out good dude. Known him since I was a kid and I’m not bullshitting in the slightest in saying you remember his tone and attention even in passing conversation. Just a guy who’s in the business of people, teaching, whatever you want to call it – for the right reasons.
So while this is unsurprising – it’s dually awesome that he went to Standing Rock and is plugging the lacrosse community to do the same, or show support in some fashion. Say what you will about the abortion of an election we just sat through – the holidays are approaching and it’s easy to forget getting fat in your moms house that there are people literally fighting for survival at the hands of a state government in the name of oil. It’s a worthy cause to get involved with – check it out.
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