Heroes in America never stay heroic forever.
The reason so many of our most iconic historical figures - Martin Luther King, JFK, Abraham Lincoln - remain revered is that they died relatively young. Given time to live out their entire lives, they would have eventually ended up co-endorsing oatmeal with Wilford Brimley. Nobody remains dignified to the end.
The fall from grace just happens faster for some than others. When Don Imus insulted the Rutgers University (RU) female basketball team as "nappy-headed hos," what happened? He looked like a jerk and was fired in disgrace. Meanwhile, the team looked like an extraordinarily dignified group of young women who endured and conquered the slur.
Well, it never ends so simply. Kia Vaughan, a member of the RU squad, is now suing Imus and CBS Radio for defamation, trotting out her lawyer to claim, "She would do anything to return to her life as a student and respected basketball player - a more simple life before Imus opened his mouth."
A bit of free PR advice that you will never get from your lawyer: A lawsuit will never help you re-turn to a simpler life. It will make you look very greedy, like someone intent on sucking dollars out of the twists and turns of our unpredictable world.
Vaughan's post-Imus reputation was great - she and her teammates were generally portrayed as minor deities set upon by an evil, ugly bigot. If she wants to return to her old life, she should just go to class, play ball, and stay out of court.
PR Play Rating
3. On the right track