Thad Riley: Fellas, we have to do better

This is a story that really got to me…

Last week this man (Francisco Torres), while his plane was in flight, stood up and yelled and threatened passengers, including specific threats made towards women. As his tirade ended, he left his seat and eventually attacked a flight attendant.

And almost every single man sat there with his mouth shut, headphones in, and head tilted down.

What you can’t quite see is the one man in the seat behind him telling him to cut it out, and eventually this man, along with eight others, took action and stopped the Torres after his initial attack. So while there was some conversation, no one actually shut this guy down or stood directly up to him as he threatened most of the plane.

Torres is obviously in need of serious mental help or maybe just a jail sentence is the best prescription, but it is the weakness of men in this moment that bothers me the most. It wasn’t so long ago I walked into a situation where an aggressive sounding man was berating and intimidating a female employee. She was alone in the building and had zero backup, and if it wasn’t for Melanie tipping me off, I’m not sure what would have happened.

I didn’t threaten him verbally or physically, I simply told him he was going to shut up and leave her alone. He told me to mind my own business, and I told him that he was now my business and I wasn’t going anywhere. That’s about all I said. I might have stood as tall as possible, LOL, and was staring at him, mostly watching his hands to see if he was going to go for a weapon. Like most men who try to intimidate or assault women, the guy I was dealing was gone with a minute or two after I got involved. All I used were a few words. He mumbled nonsense at me as he walked passed me and out the door, and once he was gone, the lady broke down in tears. A few minutes after the man had drove away, the police pulled up. It was super stressful for her to be alone, and I’m so grateful we were there.

I share this to say – fellas, we have to do better. There’s this commercial “For Him’s” and it is filled with the weakest men you’ve ever seen in your life. It’s like – “take this drug, it will help you to live out a weak and meaningless existence”. This is the garbage thrown at men today. They want us weak, hooked on drugs, and not to be who God created us to be. I’m not saying you have to start lifting or learn how to fight, but those aren’t bad things and I’d highly recommend something.

But what really matters is finding the strength to stand strong against those who seek to intimidate others with their words or physicality matters more than ever. Men, this is our calling in this world. We’ve seen too many examples where men duck their head, turn up their headphones, and walk on by. Let’s change this. Let’s find our strength in these moments, fellas.

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