, Muskogee, OK

December 31, 2013

THE PEOPLE SPEAK — Whatever happened to sportsmanship?

— The definition of sportsmanship holds to pertain in any activity with consideration, good ethics, and a regard to your competition and yourself. We often understand to avoid “sore loser” and “bad winner” mentalities, respectively. The situation (I do not use “problem,” which implies “unfixable”) is not with our high school athletes themselves, but in both the “bleacher coach parents” and coaches themselves.

While it’s true that kids must develop a thick skin in this world, it is a disgrace to see adults screaming, cursing, belittling, and tearing kids down over a silly game. Sports are here for fun, not blood rioting. Are we truly so ‘evolved’ beyond the barbarian days of the Roman arenas of throwing martyrs to lions, or is it now acceptable to verbally rip a 16-year-old into tears on the sidelines in the name of “motivation?”

As a follower of the Christian faith, I am equally embarrassed to see alleged ‘fellow believers’ using such offensive language and hateful attitudes, be it as a coach or as sideline parents. Do you believe you are demonstrating the love for all people that Jesus spoke of, or have you forgotten Acts 10:34? Every religion and faith on the planet holds an undercurrent of “Do Unto Others.” How about we apply it in action for sportsmanship (and all situations), instead of just lip service to show off on Sundays?


Fort Gibson