This past Sunday, the New York Times' Sports section featured a story about Evan Kaufmann, an American-born hockey player who plays for the German national team. This is a gripping story and a must-read. For me, it connects to an issue that I've been thinking about for quite some time about the uneasy relationship between Black high school athletes and major college sports. The question is one of historical memory: How do we choose to remember, and why do we sometimes choose to forget? More importantly, do we have a responsibility as individuals to honor these memories, whatever they may be, and to live our lives accordingly?
For here's the thing: Evan Kaufmann is an American Jew, playing in Germany and for the German national team because, according to the Times, this is "his best pro opportunity to play hockey." Should Kaufmann have the right to do that?
This is not the easiest of questions.