Thank you, Oregon State University baseball, for allowing Luke Heimlich to play his senior year. Your generous act serves as a reminder that at least some people in this country still believes in redemption and second chances. (Had Luke ignored the "haters" and played in the College World Series last year, OSU might have won it all.)
Some feel people convicted of certain crimes don't deserve second chances. Yet, Mike Tyson, Michael Vick, and Joe Mixon were among a number of athletes who had committed crimes and were allowed to play sports after finishing their court sentences. What makes Luke different from any of those guys? These three athletes committed crimes while on a roster, while Luke was convicted and served out his sentence years before he was a blip on OSU's radar.
If Luke Heimlich is innocent, then his treatment is a great injustice and a condemnation of our unfair judicial system. If he is guilty, then he served his state-issued sentence and has worked hard to become a productive member of society. Supporting Luke doesn't overlook or condone the crime he allegedly committed; rather, it is our way of encouraging Luke and others that there is at least some hope for a redeemed life after completing a state-sanctioned penalty.
Luke Heimlich and OSU fans, ignore the haters and the self-righteous media pontificators. You have a lot more support in Omaha (and across the United States) than you realize. Go Luke Heimlich. Go OSU Beavers.
Cincinnati, Ohio (June 15)
The author is an anti-registry movement activist and advocate for the restoration of rights for registered sex offenders. He runs the website oncefallen.com.