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Jordan's life is his business

It is Michael Jordan's business and his alone what he does off the basketball court. He is a man who has done incredible things for others and should not be put under a microscope. The media think they are doing the fans a favor by exposing negative things about him. I believe it is a detriment to fans. I would love to see him play as long as he can. He doesn't need this kind of scrutiny and may decide to hang up his jersey early because of it. Do the fans a favor and leave him alone.

There is talk about baseball needing a hero like Jordan to come forward and bring more interest to the game. Why would anyone want to step forward when they can see what the media are doing to Jordan. Let's focus on what a kind, generous and hardworking individual he is.

Karen L. Roche, Palm Harbor

Horses pressured too much

This spring my friend and partner, Morgan Bishop, and I were bemoaning the decline of Florida racing. We decided to draft Prairie Bayou in our dreams for thoroughbred racing to recapture the public's affection. Here was an iron hero _ the epitome of athletic courage, strength and consistency. In addition, his career couldn't be interrupted by breeding contracts. It is ironic that, in the deja vu disaster of the Belmont Stakes, I now understand that our lofty aim for Prairie Bayou was misguided and it put too much pressure where it didn't belong.

Said Morgan last weekend: "I watched the NBA semis, the French Open and the Belmont, and I thought what a great game this is. It's scary to me how the public looks on it. Are we headed for five race tracks, 5,000 horses and simulcasting? What can we do?"

Since 1973 I've been active as a publicist, backstretch help and presently as an owner/breeder. Today, in the wake of this latest stunning loss, I believe that only another bold initiative will cure the industry and the public's perception of it. Here's what I feel I can do, besides writing letters: Stop pointing babies to the Breeders' Cup; reward my horses and trainer for honest effort; and most important, shift my attitude to get back to the horse.

Christy McLaughlin, Wesley Chapel

Share your views with the Times. Letters should be 150 words or fewer and must include the writer's name and hometown. Letters will be edited for brevity and clarity. We also welcome your questions. We will try to find answers and publish them. Address: Sports Forum, P.O. Box 1121, St. Petersburg 33731. Correspondence also may be sent by facsimile to (813) 893-8675.

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