Joshua Caleb Gordon and Charles Barkley & Co

In this paper, I will furnish a response to a letter written by Joshua Caleb Gordon to Charles Barkley & Co. The title of his letter is ‘An open letter to Charles Barkley & Co.’ The main issue in the letter is the problem regarding the perspective held by Charles and others that he has- drug addiction. He additionally admits that he has a problem; however, contrary to the popular opinion of drug addiction, he states that his problem is that he is younger (23 years old) and still have lots of life classes to learn. I will argue that Gordon was right in writing this letter, not simply as a defense for his public image but also to reveal the pretense exhibited by the supposed well-wishers (Charles and Co.). Judging a person without all the facts is unfair and Gordon’s response is a self-defense, which he deserves.

In his letter, Gordon was concerned that even though Charles and other concerned parties publicly said that he was having an addiction problem, they knew very little about him. He had only made contact with a few of them. Even so, the contact ended simply with handshakes. It, therefore, surprised and annoyed Gordon that Charles and others would ironically say that they feared for his well-being and life. Gordon is quick to mention that the allegations made about him being an addict are wrong. He continues by stating how his history on drug abuse mainly marijuana has been and connecting it to childhood experiences. Also, he dismisses the allegation that he is an alcoholic and explains that even categorizing him as a social drinker would be an exaggeration. After dismissing addiction as a problem to him, as many people think, he states that his major concern is being the best football player that he can be.

I agree with Gordon on the point that Charles. Stephen and Cris new so little about him to make a judgment. According to Gordon, some of these people including Cris had never even met him. So, on what level were they judging him? It is clear that the basis on which these people judged him was rumors or the result of two incidences of an alcohol test. In one of the incidence when he was driving he only had a slight rise of 0.1 of the required legal limit for blood-alcohol level. Additionally, incidences to generalize and qualify him as a drug addict and an alcoholic is unfair.

Even more ironic is the fact that these people claimed that they so much cared about Gordon’s wellbeing to the extent that Charles feared he would die if he does not rectify (Gordon). Did these people really care about Gordon or his health? If indeed they did as they claim then what proof is there to support their words? I am not convinced, just as Gordon was not that people who care so much will opt to go to the media and describe how the problem of drug addiction was slowly leading to the downfall and possibly death of a superb player. What their words depict is that of people who are interested in ruining the reputation of Gordon. If any could have advised, directed, mentored, encouraged, visited him in the hospitals or shown interest about his health then maybe I would say that they cared. Their supposed way caring is absurd and destructive.

There is a famous that if you have not gone through my experiences then don’t judge my decision. Gordon brings this point very clearly as he narrates in the letter how he had a troubled childhood. His father was always missing leaving her mother to strive to provide them with meals. He had no person to direct him or warn him when he started using marijuana. The teens in the neighborhood used alcohol and marijuana as a norm. It was not much of a big deal then. Someone would want to question if such vices were forced on him. He responds that he made a choice a wrong choice.

I am impressed by the way Gordon describes his childhood and links it to how he started using drugs even though he admits that it was a choice that he made. What Gordon is stating here is that it is a known fact that certain life issues such as poverty, peer influence and a lack of further figure increase the probability of a person abusing drugs (Garfinkel and Sara, pg. 294). Psychologist and healthcare professionals understand the relevance of doing a background check on individuals and understanding the cause of the problem. Drug addiction is described only as the presenting problem which means that there is an underlying problem that should be addressed.

Despite the harsh childhood upbringing Gordon tells his recipients that he had made significant strides in overcoming marijuana addiction, escaping poverty and even gun violence with very little support and guidance. By stating this I believe that Gordon is trying to present his actual self and disputing the label that he had been given as an addict. To me, God did a right thing by bringing this side of him about his achievements and progress. As he mentions in his letter there are so many youngsters who look up to him as a role model. Probably some know him at a personal level and are from the neighborhood that he came from. Gordon has been working hard to ensure that he does not fail such people that look up to him. Stating his stand clearly shows his willingness to remain true to them.

Gordon has reconciled his identity, he is not in denial about his past and his mistakes just as much as he understands who he is and his ambition. He wants to be the best football player that he can ever be and perhaps what he needs most is guidance and support. Gordon says that he is a good person and I agree with him. The very fact that he chose not to bear hatred in his heart but instead to write this letter and express his concerns shows that he actually has decided a better path and is willing to do anything to achieve his best.

His closing remarks are awesome, he tells his recipients that he holds no grudge against them but expect an apology. I totally agree with him since Charles and others wrongly accused him. Their remarks made Gordon be wrongly perceived by the public. That can really hurt especially given the fact that he has been working hard to make himself a better person. Gordon’s letter will help many people who are oppressed by their leaders to find the courage to confront them. Also, it serves as a lesson to people who are used to saying lies about other people and tainting their image for no apparent reason. To me, this letter shows an upright man standing firm to defend himself against accusations and misplaced judgment.

Work Cited

Garfinkel, Irwin, and Sara Mc Lanahan. “The effects of the child support provisions of the Family Support Act of 1988 on child well-being.” Population Research and Policy Review 9.3 (1990): 205 cv -234.

Gordon, Josh, “An open letter to Charles Barkley &Co.” accessed 3 October 2017.

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