Working at the National Whistleblower Center is a great gig. Virtually every day the NWC team is inspired by another whistleblower’s story. These stories remind us that, with the right support structures, everyone has the power to make the world a better place.
I often wonder whether we are doing enough to inspire our kids and grandkids with these stories of whistleblowers’ courage and commitment to fairness. Kids receive a lot of direction from their elders about the need to cooperate, but are they hearing enough about confronting cheating, bullying and other wrongdoing?
As a former Little League coach, I know that my players would be inspired by Mike Fiers, the professional baseball pitcher who blew the whistle on sign-stealing by the Houston Astros organization. His bravery led to the resignations of key leaders implicated in the scandal and is stimulating a long overdue conversation about cheating in the nation’s pastime. After some well-known baseball commentators accused him of being a snitch, his Oakland Athletics teammates responded by giving him a standing ovation and told him, “we have your back, now and forever.”
Protecting and rewarding whistleblowers is what the National Whistleblower Center is all about. We look forward to working with our allies and supporters to building the pro-whistleblower movement that our nation so badly needs. Perhaps it will start with conversations between kids and their parents, teachers and coaches.