There is, I fear, something about sun, sea, and sand that makes it easy to snicker at the sweaty-palmed fretting of the distant north. As the five of us sipped coffee Thursday morning and breakfasted on the fruit that hangs from the trees that grow along the Caribbean coast of Honduras, my daughter Laura read aloud from her iPod.

She’d been seeking the latest NBA scores. She came across a headline from the Chicago Tribune: “Derrick Rose is no role model.” Was it necessary to read another word? The ultimate accolade to which a black professional athlete can aspire is the headline advising “Michael Jordan is no role model” or “Barry Bonds is no role model” or “Walter Payton is no role model.” (As happened to Ron Santo, Payton received his most priceless honor posthumously.)