Why Canceling the Marathon Was a Mistake
Opinion, By Jen Benepe
Umm excuse me everyone who objected to the Marathon, the Knicks held one of their big money games in the Garden last night, but I heard no chorus of objections.
There is a lot of hypocrisy in that. A Knicks game will do nothing for the city, bring no money to the hotels, nor help the city symbolically.
Sorry, but all the marathon naysayers are nothing but that, negative!
The critics were all over the place–especially the pols, who need to say something while everyone is suffering, among their thousands of emails sent to constituents, in an attempt to help yes, but also to make themselves look morally superior to everyone else in the hour of need.
Oh and the media! What a resounding chorus came from them, the billion-dollar empires who were sitting in warm, dry offices typing on their computers and pontificating their opinions to the nation at large about how immoral it was to hold the ING NYC Marathon!
Most of them returned home to their intact mansions where they feasted on big meals surrounded by family members, not one of them on the frontline helping bring food and water to the masses.
If we follow the line of reasoning that shut down one of the most symbolic and important events of the year–the diverting of resources–why don’t we just shut down the whole town in reverence to what has happened? Would that make sense instead of trying to move forward and rebuild not just the city, but also morale?
And are the cops really down in Staten Island right now, or Breezy Point passing out food and water? No they aren’t, no they weren’t and no they won’t be, Marathon or not.
The NYC Marathon brings thousands of visitors to the city every year. Now they are here, and they are pissed off.
Many of them spent thousands of dollars to get here, and what are they confronted with? A bunch of whiners who can’t see anyone having fun when they aren’t.
Here’s what we are missing out on without the marathon: over $350 MILLION dollars spent and going directly to people who live and work in the city, an amount estimated by the New York Road Runners (NYRR), which organizes the run through all five boroughs–oh and that’s a 2011 number.
In 2010, the more than 45,000 participants spent nearly $1,800 each during their visit to New York City, according to an economic analysis provided by AECOM.
Guess what? We’re not having fun either. We haven’t had electricity for almost 7 days now. No heat, hot water, no food–because there aren’t any stores open where we live and work! Also, no gas. We’re homeless and had to travel 100 miles to find a dry place to work and report from.
We have become homeless as all of the thousands of people who did so in our area. But, we would have loved to come see the marathon.
Ah, wouldn’t have that been refreshing! Watching athletic people running in cool weather, the cheers, the crowds! We would all have huddled around candlelit dinners (if there were any places left in town without electricity, which at this point looks like not.)
But let’s get down to brass tacks here. No one seems to mind that some billionaire dollar basketball game was held, in the name of capitalism last night. I didn’t hear any of those basketball stars offering up their salary for a night to help the homeless people in Staten Island, or Breezy Point.
Let’s get a grip on this total hypocrisy: Camelo Anthony who plays for the Knicks makes over 20 MILLION dollars a year. If he had given ONE WEEK of his salary last night, it would have paid to rebuild someone’s house out in Breezy Point. Wait, no! It would have paid for a new house somewhere else, away from the shore–about $385,000.
No instead, this is what the self-centered millionaire said about the plight of New Yorkers: “Over the last couple of days, we didn’t even know if this game was going to be played. Then before the game we look up and they say they canceled the Marathon, so it was like, we have to go out there and play,” Anthony said. “So today was something to give New York a couple hours of some peace. Come to the game, support us. We gave them a good show out there tonight, that’s the least that we can do.”
That’s the least they can do.
But let’s go ahead and cancel the marathon which would have brought millions of dollars to New York City businesses who are struggling to get back on their feet. Would have brought thousands of people here to see for themselves the destruction we sustained, and relay that back in eyewitness accounts back home. And would have helped people from outside the area to open their pocketbooks and help us.
Instead we have a bunch of pissed off runners who are going to go home and tell everyone what a piece of sh–t New York is because they canceled the marathon.
Below is a list of the Knicks’ salaries, totaling $74 million dollars in one year. And that’s just one team.
|New York Knicks Salaries
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