Be Like Mike

You might be inclined to think I’m going to talk about Michael Jordan. And you would be justified in thinking so, as the “Be Like Mike” meme was popularized by Gatorade in a series of commercials, like this one.

But in reality, I want to talk about Mike Connors. He is a man from Miramichi, who is outspoken about what he feels to be right and wrong. Most recently, he spoke out against the Miramichi City Council who was debating the idea of flying the gay pride flag during the Olympics. The idea was shelved so that city staff could develop a policy on flag flying at city hall.

While smart decision-making, it didn’t sit well with Mike. He thought they should have voted to fly the flag without shelving the motion to fly the flag in favour of policy development. By waiting for policy development, the effect was that the gay pride flag did not fly during the Olympics.

For those that don’t know, the Olympics were in Sochi, Russia. Russia has national laws discriminating against the practice and promotion of homosexuality. Flying the flag was meant to show solidarity with the people of Russia. But due to the decision by Council, it took longer than it should have. Kudos to the staff of the City of Miramichi, who worked hard to get the policy in place for the start of the Paralympics. Kudos to Councillor Peggy McLean for being the champion in council.

Mike helped to move this forward, by being Mike. In his outspoken, bold way, he offered his own pride flag to the city. He believed the motion was a way to avoid raising the flag. See the story at CBC.

Being like Mike means standing for truth and justice, even when others give you a hard time over it. Being like Mike means being a voice, even when no one seems to want to hear it.

My point is that I’m happy Mike stood for (and spoke for) what he believed. He challenged the status quo and in his own way challenged the City of Miramichi to enact policy for going forward. If more people would be like Mike, then New Brunswick would be better for it.