In various chapters of my life, I have always been somewhat of a sports fanatic, played in a few of them over the years just to have fun, but now really enjoy watching a good game of any kind, and cheering for the great efforts of the participants no matter what the results might be. Lately, like so many of you, I am sick and tired of hearing about all the alleged horrific accusations of violence and abuse that some professional athletes have inflicted upon their wives, girlfriends, children, officials and on and on.
First it was the drug scandal that reared its ugly head in many sports, and now the so-called violence and other trash has expanded from the playing fields and sports facilities into the homes and private lives of these very well paid and admired superstars. During the thrill of the game and the exciting competition, most of us kind of got used to seeing the fighting, the crunching contact, the verbal banter and whining and even the odd cheap shots. In the eyes of the avid fans, the intensity and excitement of every game will always favour the amazing shots, kicks, passes, goals, plays, great saves, hardest hits and tackles as well as the outstanding efforts of the individual players and teams as they endeavour to excel and succeed in their chosen sport.
In the end, there is no place for drugs in sports, so they have snuffed that out very quickly, as well as adding very strict penalties for intent to injure and abuse of officials, which now results in the culprits being suspended, fined, and loss of pay. There is no doubt that many hundreds of thousands of faithful and avid fans are now shocked when we hear that a growing list of multi-talented and very large and powerful superstar football players and other athletes are being accused of punching, kicking, shooting, and abusing their partners, children and anyone else who may get in their way. The worst case scenario is that these always totally denied or please forgive me ‘temper tantrums’ are also being viewed in most households through multi-media outlets for all to see. We even have a world class soccer star who likes to ‘bite’ the opposition, baseball pitchers whose fastball goes a little high and inside far too often, and unfortunately this ‘bad guy’ hit list just keeps growing each and every day.
We loved it when ‘the coach’ kicked dust on the umpire’s shoes or tossed a water bottle at the referee, but now that sort of harmless nonsense has gotten way out of control in very harmful and vindictive proportions. Hopefully, if the offender is found guilty, they should be prosecuted to the full extent of the law without being allowed to hide behind their high-priced lawyers. The various leagues and governors who oversee these players and teams are finally starting to take a stronger stand on this sort of behavior, both on and off the playing fields by setting very strict rules, suspensions, and fines for those athletes and officials who break the law. Hopefully as they really get tough with the ‘trash’ that doesn’t belong in sports, they will also offer some guidance, support, for those who have taken the wrong path to success, with an opportunity for them to eventually get back to the sport they love.
I also believe that those zillionaire owners and their sponsors should also be taking way more responsibility and action for the behaviour of their players and teams instead of only caring about filling their buildings and their pocket books. These teams, players, and officials have been given the unique opportunity of competing in elite sports as proud ambassadors of their city, state, province and nation. As many pro athletes already do, they should be striving not only to give their best and honest effort, but to also give back some of the wealth and perks that they receive on a 24-7 basis wherever they perform for those millions of loyal and totally dedicated fans and families who idolize them all year round.
No matter what sport we enjoy, one needs to only look up into the packed stands of avid fans of all ages and walks of life, who, season after season, travel great distances and pay the high ticket prices to watch their teams, players and heroes play a good game. These are the same passionately loyal fans who also purchase the expensive jersey, caps, and souvenirs that are also an ongoing part of the big show. It only takes a few bad apples to spoil the whole barrel, so the bottom line is that this kind of behavior must be halted and controlled immediately in all aspects of professional sports whether at home, at work or at play..
As we all prepare for our chosen winter sport or activity as a participant or a fan, please join the action with the purpose of giving our best effort, being a good sport, taking part as a team and a good neighbour, and above all to have fun.. Have a great sunny and balmy week of fall, all of you.