I am no fan of unnecessary formality but I tend to notice when reasonable boundaries are thoughtlessly breached. As was the case earlier today.
On my morning commute, I tuned into the sports news and learned that the Los Angeles Lakers visited the White House on a road trip to the east coast. The sportscast played a couple of snippets from interviews with the players and one of the comments really struck me.
In an interview taped prior to the team's visit to the White House, one of the players was asked what he was most looking forward to. He responded that among the many exciting opportunities in the nation's capital, he was "most looking forward to meeting Barrack".
I realize that we idolize athletes in our society and allow them to break the rules so consistently, and from such a young age, that many of them grow up and remain completely unaware of the notion that rules really exist. But have they really internalized a level of self-importance that places them on a first name basis with the President?
I don't think their coach would refer to the President on a first name basis, nor do I think the team owner would do so. I acknowledge that there is no harm in this and that obsequious formality should be avoided when possible. I was just taken aback that an athlete, when interviewed by the media, would presume such equality with what is perhaps our most respected office.