Whatever happened to the traditional meaning of sport you might ask? In the eyes of many it’s as dead as if we put a stake through its heart. There are a number of reasons for that, let me share a few.
First we have allowed the concept of entertainment to overshadow the meaning of sport. The most important players in professional sport are now the lawyers. Until they have negotiated the over payments to the entitled, nothing happens. When you go to the game you’re not paying to see their talent you are paying for the overpaid, the lawyers, the agents, dozens of hangers on plus the valid expenses.
Player loyalty, integrity, being in the public interest is forgotten.
A prime example is with my favorite team, the Montreal Canadians. They went ahead and drafted a player accused of transmitting sexually oriented pictures of a woman without her consent in contravention of the law. Even the team owner has said it was wrong. The problem is at this point no one will do the right thing—see it’s about the money.
The latest big fuss is about a young athlete, a champion who is struggling with the condition of her mental health. They are calling her a loser for doing the right thing. Yes she is a star she is also young. She has proved herself over and over and is now being attacked by those who couldn’t hold a candle to her. Why? Because some twisted puppies think America’s pride comes before her personal health. The difference is she has reached the limit of her expectations most of her critics haven’t event discovered theirs.
Then there is the sight of players taking a knee as a protest against racial injustice. The players are condemned some even blackballed and kicked out of the sport. The problem is, some condemn the players when those same fans should be joining the players in condemning racism. No, a nation isn’t perfect but it should be actively striving to live up to its ideals.
Even those critical of the players should ask themselves why it is a player is good enough to entertain them but that same player is not good enough to be accepted as an equal in society?
This may not be your most important issue but it is a crack in the mortar that glues society together. The Roman Empire took the meaning of sport from the Greeks and transformed it into Entertainment and eventually into a carnival of death. They also declared well over half a year of holidays and festivals.
We must understand the true meaning of sport. To perform to the best of their ability. That means no one should be expected to sacrifice their health at the expense of entertaining you and I.