It’s perfectly normal to see high profile trophy presentations hitting the headlines, but when the winner of the US Presidential elections was being announced, I couldn’t imagine that trophies were about to feature prominently in the aftermath.
However, in the wake of Donald Trump’s election victory, and the anti-Trump protests that followed, a storm raged about the use of trophies, yes trophies, by police to calm the protesters. Many people took to social media outraged at the thought of protesters getting a trophy to help pacify them.
Of course the story was actually a hoax, and a fairly transparent one at that. It was put out by a US satire site called Babylon Bee. They claimed that the idea came from a New York Police Officer Joe Butler, who was a father of three and explained that his children ‘never had to deal with losing as they were growing up’, due to the fact they’d been awarded trophies for participation and not winning or losing. They went on to explain how the trophies had a calming effect on the protesters and that other police departments were procuring emergency trophies in their thousands for use when dealing with crowds at other rallies.
As a trophy supplier, we are very sad that this isn’t true. Not missing the chance for a shameless plug, if it were true, the fact that our express trophy service is the quickest in the UK, would have made us the go-to place for emergency trophies!! However, on a serious note, the piece written by Babylon Bee was more focussed on a continuing theme that millennials in the US have been pampered by the provision of participation trophies in their formative years. It claims that they have no concept of winning or losing and that they can be instantly pacified with the ‘Everyone’s a Winner’ approach.
This notion has been doing the rounds in the US for a while now, totally unfounded and often used for famous and frustrated ex-sportsmen, whose time in the limelight has passed, to compare their wonderful achievements compared to trophies awarded for taking part. That’s a subject that can be covered at length another time. But the simple fact is that the reason this fairly ridiculous story was believed by many, was because trophies do give their recipients a positive feeling. Everyone does feel happier when they feel their efforts have been recognised, irrespective of whether those efforts were the stellar performance in the team or a lesser but nonetheless vital cog in the machine.