In light of “Baby Gronk’s” father doing an interview with The Athletic, there have been ongoing discussions on social media about parenting gone too far. In this instance, it has to do with pushing children beyond their limits and exploiting them for potential gain. And perhaps the best example of that is what Jamal Murray revealed during a recent interview with ESPN’s Malika Andrews.
Now, Murray wasn’t intentionally trying to make this a referendum on his father. That was social media’s doing. Instead, Murray suffered a nasty floor burn in Game 3 of the NBA Finals, but was able to play through having an open wound on his dominant hand.
Here’s what happened to Jamal Murray’s hand. A floor burn. pic.twitter.com/DsFNPNg3IM
— Mike Singer (@msinger) June 8, 2023
But Murray made a shocking revelation when he told ESPN’s Malika Andrews that when he was younger, his father would have him do pain tolerance drills. They entailed him balancing cups of hot tea on his quads while holding a squat. He also revealed that growing up, he had a big maple tree in his front yard and was forced to pick up the leaves bare-handed to “strengthen his hands.”
“Little things like that helped me out and built my threshold,” Murray said.
Jamal Murray sustained a bad floor burn in Game 3.
When he was younger, his dad would have him do pain tolerance drills — including balancing cups of hot tea on his quads while holding a squat — to prepare for moments like this. From NBA Today: pic.twitter.com/q7WNTrLAPt
— Malika Andrews (@malika_andrews) June 8, 2023
This is a little different from The Karate Kid when Mr. Miyagi has “Danielsan” paint his fence and wax his car to instill muscle memory. In fact, it’s not even close. It’s abusive. (That’s a discussion that’s also come up with “Baby Gronk,” and with criticism of that Athletic piece on him.) And many of those on social media were horrified by Murray’s shocking revelation:
For anyone suggesting that 'this is why he made it to the league', know that Murray's accomplished what he has IN SPITE of this kind of abusive coaching, not because of it. https://t.co/Qj3o9QtyT1
— Daniel Sailofsky (@DanielSailofsky) June 9, 2023
bleak stuff https://t.co/pfwwgXbQBC
— charles (“you look good” – andy reid) mcdonald (@FourVerts) June 9, 2023
It is beyond irresponsible for ESPN to promote literal child abuse as a legitimate training regimen. Parents are watching. https://t.co/vATYsf226y
— Nathan Kalman-Lamb (@nkalamb.bsky.social) (@nkalamb) June 9, 2023
Folks don’t realize how much abuse there is in sports culture. Not just mental, but the actual physical abuse we endure to perform.
I was trained to play through pain to the point that I can’t even really tell when something is hurt now. All my ex-teammates feel the same way. https://t.co/SjSanZBpBC
— Eric Morrison-Smith (he/him) (@EricAngelo_MS) June 9, 2023
They’re glorifying child abuse now? https://t.co/mUzlsBIyP9
— Pranav Sriraman (@PranavSriraman) June 8, 2023
“To prepare for moments like this” his dad abused him and manipulated him to justify it Jesus.
Imagine all the kids who go through this and don’t reach the success Jamal does. https://t.co/guRizUsSi2
— RB (@RyB_311) June 8, 2023
So abuse. His dad would abuse him under the guise of training. https://t.co/pUXgLUhJy8
— Mehmet Okurrrt (@Natural_OneDurr) June 8, 2023
If Jamal never made it as a pro ball player, this would be seen as unhinged parenting 😬 https://t.co/uDqcIGaiiA
— Mo Mooncey (@TheHoopGenius) June 8, 2023
Jamal seems to be fine with it but this is not the type of story I would promote https://t.co/gNFMXIMqJ7
— Lucas Kaplan (@LucasKaplan_) June 8, 2023
People love these stories but what they’re describing is abuse https://t.co/lMSg3l6Etb
— Kevin (@NBACouchside) June 8, 2023
[Malika Andrews on Twitter]