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For the love of sport

Category : Uncategorized

It is quite apparent that the public’s fascination with the sporting scandal of the moment is akin to chit-chat over late afternoon tea with quaint biscuits as the depth of the conversation is lacking and quickly forgotten. One moment’s ever-so ‘pressing issue’ is bantered about in the ‘look at me’ social media circus without a glance at the mirror and for that matter truly reflecting upon the concern.

An athletes decision to cheat in a sport is not earth-shattering news, will not feed the millions sick or impoverished in our world and a being barred from competition is not a ‘death sentence’. I would think and given during my lifetime I have actually been told my future is in dire peril, that someone who has faced the darkest of moments would know the difference. However quite obviously that taste of their own mortality did not resonate and part of the error of athletic development in our world today conditions an athlete that they will be lauded for sporting accomplishments without understanding what is truly important in our lives. For athletes young and old alike reading, sport is wonderfully enriching but it is not ‘the end all, be all’ of life.

Playing a sport well does not make you a better person and does not match one day of a loving parent who nurtures their child, a physician who cares for the sick, an educator who teaches the next generation or those in law enforcement and military service who keep us from harms way.

Yet to cast blame solely at an athlete is somewhat off-course. The mainstream fails to realise the invisible hand of the enormous corporate sports world that manipulates the public fascination with athletic and at the precise moment you are reading this article the ‘spin’ to shape and influence opinion is being wove. Shaping image, preventative care and damage control is the behind the scenes work within the business side of elite level sport and make no mistake sports are about vast sums of money.

If you are going to lay blame of this and many situations that pertains to illegal and immoral activities of sport you most likely need to reflect upon your own support of elite sport. Our society has erroneously placed athletes and their accomplishments on a pedestal and every souvenir, licensed apparel and contest watched supports this condition to some degree. In my lifetime we have seen athlete’s salaries and wages rise to ridiculous levels and the public gleefully accepts this development along with questionable behaviour as a form of collateral damage for playing a sport well.

Simply, it is not acceptable.

Playing a sport well and possessing extraordinary athletic ability should not exclude you from proper conduct or for that matter, place you on a pedestal.

Guilt in this and every transgression involving athletes needs to be accepted by the individual in question, punished sternly but additionally signals a failing of their development plan and society. There are no victors in situations as such but a signal, assuming anyone can see ‘it’, that our society is well off-course on how it perceives athletics.

Sport is meant to better our society and well past what is considered the ‘elite branches’ it continues to do so but that might be the greatest flaw in the public perception. The true elite branch is not the high paid starlets with their fawning audience but those who participate for the sheer love of sport.

As debate continues endlessly over the transgressions of athletes, immoral conduct and cheating scandals it is time to do what is ‘right’. Bring athletes down from their pedestal, ensure they live to your standards and equally go outside and participate.

I have accomplished nearly everything I have wished to within sport and amongst the accolades and trophies the greatest joy are the friends I have made and the lives I have positively enriched.

John K. Davies

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