Lance Armstrong is a sad example of what sports has become today.
Historically, sports were considered to be virtuous. The values that correspond with sports were considered to go hand in hand with those that apply to being a person of integrity and faith.
Today sports are increasingly associated with violence, drugs, sex, racism, cheating and money.
Athletes are worshipped for the money they make, for their on-field violence, for their off-field partying, for their egos and bravado that includes fighting, celebratory dances, strutting and posturing.
Technical and athletic aspects of certain sports have given way to steroid physiques, tattoos and various forms of intimidation. At one time only sailors and bikers had tattoos.
Today footballers have helped bring these crude decadent society images into the mainstream. Our media helps promote and legitimize this mentality by glorifying athletic fighting and violence in a colorful and entertaining way.
Vince Lombardi, former coach of the Super Bowl winning Green Bay Packers football team, spoke for a generation when he said “winning isn’t everything; it’s the only thing”.
Ultimately, sports should be a vehicle to develop good character, to make people courageous and loyal, as well as generous losers and gracious victors.
We have to recover these original principles of sports so that we can work together to forge greater bonds between people and help overcome the real and terrible social problems of our time.
Hamilton, Ontario. Canada