Saturday, February 26, 2011

Onya Sport

For a long time professional sport has been more "business" than "sport" but that certainly hasn't stopped the crowd attending games. And at the same time as the marketing power of individuals and teams has increased, our expectation of them as role models has also risen.

I would like to think that people would be selected to be role models based on the content of their character (yes MLK) rather than their ability to run, kick, jump or whatever but it is a crazy world.

So while we cry foul when someone has an affair, drinks to much and does something dumb or just proved him/herself to be a dick is that particularly fair? Yes they are paid a fortune by both their team and sponsors and they might even be a 'star' but isn't it something of a default that our kids look up to them.

Surely we as parents or significant persons in a young person's life have a responsibility to educate them from an early age about the content of character and the wisdom in selecting our role models carefully. And while someone may be an excellent role model as a rugby player (or insert your sport of interest) , it doesn't mean he is an ideal man, father, businessman or whatever.

Added to that is the hypocritical nature of us as fans. We are disappointed when our favorites get into trouble with alcohol but we put up with all of the advertising at the games, not to mention having a brew or two while we watch. We are outraged when there is reports of match fixing or other incidents of gambling, but we sit through television coverage that provides the odds for various things literally every 15 minutes as both advertising and comments byt he commentators. We call "shame" when a player has an affair, but offer intense public scrutiny of what WAGS wear and how they act.

I am not excusing bad behaviour. I am just pointing out that there is a bigger picture in play and we as adults, parents and fans have a responsibility in all of this as well.

Image: "sport" by dragonslairfoto


pita-woman said...

I'm not too crazy about all the commercialism of sporting events either, that's basically why I've gotten away from watching car racing, something I used to dearly love. But that is how the athletes make the majority of their money.
I wouldn't say I look up to athletes as role-models. The ones I admire is either for their talent at their given sport, &/or because they are (at least, some of them are) so damned good looking. ;)

pita-woman said...

As we were watching the UFC fights this past Saturday night, taking place at the Acer Arena in Sydney, I couldn't help but think of all the fabulous Aussie people I've met thru blogger.

Mountaingirl said...

I am so sporty I had to google UFC rofl