Sarah Hughes is a real girl with genuine family values, the kind of role model that youths need. I cried watching her skate to victory. She was so happy that she seemed to soar without effort. But now that I have read THE LIFE OF REILLY (March 4) and know the whole story, I understand the love that made it possible.
MARLENE HOLOHAN, Shrewsbury, Mass.
Parents do have a great deal to do with kids' growing up to be cool. Congratulations to Sarah and to Rick Reilly for pointing that out.
BILL PALMER, Lindsay, Calif.
All That Glitters
Thanks for writing about Croatia's Janica Kostelic (Golden Gates, March 4) and her record medal haul. The Olympics are an international event, and to pass over what Kostelic did would have been a travesty.
ANTE COP, Warren, N.J.
U.S. Smokeless Tobacco Company is a distinctly different tobacco company. We pride ourselves both on making the highest quality smokeless tobacco products for adults in the world and on being a highly responsible corporate citizen. Accordingly, we feel we have a responsibility to respond to Rick Reilly's recent column (THE LIFE OF REILLY, March 18). SI readers should know the column contained misstatements, mischaracterization and descriptions of some behaviors we find both surprising and abhorrent. We are the only smokeless tobacco company to sign an agreement to work with various state attorneys general to significantly reduce youth access to tobacco products and have voluntarily adopted an array of advertising and promotional restrictions. At U.S. Smokeless Tobacco Company, it has been our long-standing policy that tobacco products are for adults only. It is extremely important to point out that on a national basis, youth usage of smokeless tobacco is low and declining. You do not have to take our word for it. That is the finding of the Healthy People 2000 survey, conducted by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, and other national surveys. We will continue to seek out new and innovative ways to discourage sales to minors. To gain a better understanding of our products and policies, as well as our views on certain advertising and regulatory issues, visit www.ussmokelesstobacco.com.
MURRAY S. KESSLER, President
U.S. Smokeless Tobacco Co.
? SI and Rick Reilly stand behind the facts in his column as published.—ED.
PC or Not PC?
As the son of a full-blooded Cherokee mother (The Indian Wars, March 4), I find it offensive that so-called Native American leaders waste time bemoaning Indian team names while letting our people's real issues go unaddressed. The poverty level on reservations in the U.S. is higher than in any other place in the country, alcoholism on reservations is rampant, and our inadequate school system lacks qualified educators! Native American activists, like Congress, waste time arguing about frivolous causes while ignoring genuine ills.
JON C. ZANEWYCH, Alpharetta, Ga.
There is nothing more amazing than Chief Illiniwek's entrance and dance on the field at an Illinois home football game. The fans get chills. Chief Illiniwek is respected, honored and loved at Illinois. How could this be demeaning? He is not a silly dressed-up mascot, but rather a symbol. People need to shift their focus away from Chief Illiniwek and to the many other areas that truly affect lives.
KAREN HOWARD, Troy, Ill.
If you're addressing 1,000 people and find out what you're calling them offends 400 of them, is it O.K. to continue doing it?
DAVID FIKAR, Lincoln, Neb.
I have always thought the Redskins could get rid of that offensive name by simply changing three letters and calling themselves the Pigskins. There's an obvious link to football, the team could keep its Hail to...song, and those ridiculous men in dresses with the hog noses would fit right in. There's already plenty of pork in the nation's capital.
HOLLY WONG, Mountainside, N.J.
I teach children who have no contact with Native American culture. What they do know are team logos, names and paraphernalia. How sad is it that their idea of an Indian is Chief Wahoo? The issue is not who is offended or how many are offended; the issue is that the images, symbols and names are a myth. Tell our children the truth. It is a moral responsibility.
DONNA REDWINE, Lexington, Ky.