It’s soapbox time. With the Olympics coming up, and with what happened after the UEFA Euro final game, I’ve been thinking a lot about sports.
You should know that I’m not a huge fan of sports. I’ve never been that interested in sitting down to watch them in person or at home. There are a few exceptions: The Olympics is my always exception. I watch every single ounce of Olympic coverage every two years and will always. The other exception was how dedicated I became to my college football team which I now do not even follow.
The thing is, and this is my personal opinion, the point of sports, of athletic competition (besides the benefits of exercise), is to have a healthy, fun competition that brings people together. Winning and losing shouldn’t matter. They really shouldn’t. Winning gives you an exhilarating, adrenaline-inducing, heart-thumping high that lasts for a short while, sure. But when it becomes more important than human connection, that’s where you lose me.
I watch the Olympics, religiously, because it makes me feel part of something huge to see all those athletes from all the different countries coming together, putting aside political, racial, geolocational differences in order to be together and engage in friendly athletic competition. That’s why I watch it.
And when I hear about racial slurs being thrown at athletes, when I see athletes lose their minds over losing, it makes me want to scream. Good sportsmanship has to come from players and audience members. There is no excuse for being a bad sport, especially when it hurts someone. Because at the end of the day, it’s just a game. It’s not life or death (or it shouldn’t be. Are you listening, countries who punish athletes for not performing up to snuff?) It makes me want to say, “You’re choosing a stupid game over a human. You’re choosing to hate someone or throw a fit over something that should have been fun.”
Moral? Be a good person. Stop taking sports so seriously. Choose to accept the loss and have fun with it. Sports were created for fun. End of soapbox.