Truth, Justice, The American Way, ….. and Table Tennis

Table tennis is my outlet to the world. I’ve never been to Nigeria, but I know several Nigerian table tennis players. I haven’t been to China, but I hit with Chinese players every week. I haven’t made it to India either, which is a shame, because I really love Indian food. I know table tennis players with roots in India, Nepal, Columbia, Poland, Sierra Leone, Haiti, Great Britain, The Philippines, Korea, Japan, Vietnam, Iran, Israel, Afghanistan, and of course, the United States. Since I don’t get to travel as much as I’d like, I at least feel like I am exposed to other cultures through table tennis. In some ways I get more exposure than the average tourist. Does one learn more about China from seeing the Great Wall of China, or from having some Chinese friends? I’ve never been to a Jamaican resort, but I had a Jamaican table tennis coach. 
The United States really isn’t known for producing great table tennis players. That may be changing, as more young players are exposed to table tennis at an early age. 
But table tennis in the United States isn’t changing fast enough to help me with my current issue. For once I will be traveling. I’m only going a few hundred miles, to Hilton Head South Carolina. Most of my time will be spent with family and at the beach, but it would be nice to think that there might be someplace where I might get in a few matches. There is no USATT club on Hilton Head. I might be fortunate enough to stumble upon a table, but it’s very unlikely I’ll be able to find a good venue, and good players. 
Good places to play are still pretty hard to find in the U.S. There seem to be more in California, but for most of the country it’s far easier to find golf courses, tennis courts, baseball fields, and basketball courts. The American baby boom generation produced a lot of ping pong players, but hardly any table tennis players. It appears that Americans have a lot of catching up to do in the world of table tennis. 
Truth, justice, and the American way seems a little antiquated in 2018. So, what can table tennis bring to the U.S.? Likewise, how can the United States contribute to the sport of table tennis? At the very least, our sport brings people together who might never meet otherwise. The United States contribution could be to show some leadership in this sport that we have rarely excelled in. Does the American way actually have anything to do with truth and justice? Having watched some recent congressional hearings, it’s hard to see this as something our country is displaying very well. Truth and justice are however, ideals that Americans recognize, and expect of their leaders. Any sport can die if it’s integrity is questioned. Our sport has a shortage of umpires, officials, and leaders. Players may not feel like there is justice in our sport if they feel like cheating is overlooked, allowed, or even encouraged. Table tennis is a great sport. It just needs a little more truth and justice. 

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