I see it every day at sporting events at the high school and little league level. The added emphasis on winning. The added emphasis on aggressiveness from coaches and fans. It seems like in today’s world the professional ranks will do anything to win as evidenced by the steroid use in baseball.
The professional athletes today give a poor example of sportsmanship and pure sport. In baseball, steroid use was prevalent and maybe even encouraged to bring fans to the game. In football, steroid use is still there occasionally seen with suspensions. Professional cycling is nothing but a professional test tube for the most part.
Professional athletes value the dollar as much as winning and many of them don’t care about the winning, just about whether they get a nice, fat paycheck. Sportsmanship is not seen today in professional sports, with only rare exceptions.
Baseball is the worst culprit of this because there are players that are known cheaters that have gotten no punishment from this. Alex Rodriguez is an admitted steroid user and has been suspended for zero games for his actions. It just shows to show you that you can cheat the system, cheat the game and cheat yourself and the only punishment you get will be dealing with your own guilty mind.
With that example, how are our future athletes going to look at sportsmanship the same way when they see the professionals glorified for showboating and showing up their opponent. The example is not there and with the media effectively promoting these actions, it’s not going away anytime soon. And that’s a shame. Sports are tremendous to get into. They teach valuable life lessons like teamwork and get kids a chance to get some much-needed exercise. They are a great way to spend leisure time if done correctly.
Sports are competitive and everybody wants to win. Sadly, not everybody can win. Accepting the defeats which will come at some point, will make you a better athlete and a better person.
Sure, there is sportsmanship. The kids shake hands at the end of the game. But does it mean anything? I bet in a lot of cases, the actions on the field leave a lot of hurt feelings and water down the handshake and the sportsmanship which little league was ultimately meant to show to these young athletes.
I will say at the younger level, there is a certain level of sportsmanship that is seen. Young elementary school students today are treated nicely and a lot of times score is not even kept to not encourage some of those bad habits that can develop in sports.