Friday, September 23, 2011

Whatever happened to sportsmanship?

After Serena Williams' latest tirade on the court at the US Open, it got me thinking.

Whatever happened to sportsmanship and etiquette?

We all have our bad days, whether we take it out on Road Rage or our computer, we still try to maintain some sense of decorum.  Some of us are just born firecrackers.  I get it.  I am probably one of those firecracker people myself. 

But, really?   If we all acted that way when our emotions ran high, we would be up a creek.  We can't act that way when our boss dumps on us, or when the bank messes up our transaction.  We are expected to be polite and nice and (hopefully) receive that in return.  Now, I know that customer service is not always wine and roses.  But we are talking about professional athletes here.  And am I wrong for holding them to a slightly higher standard?  I don't think so. 

Who was it that said, it wasn't his job to be a role model.  If he was, then fine.  But that wasn't his problem, it was the kids' choice to look up to him.  Did I get that right?  Or t least the jist of it.  Um, hello.  You are in the spotlight, dude.  You got it whether you like it or not. 

A quick image search of "sportsmanship" yielded this:
This is true.


Remember this one, when they carried the hurt player across home plate for the WINNING run.  Because it was the right thing to do.

I just think this is funny! 

Johnson and Luiken hug it out. 

'Nuff Said

That was MY Gatorade!

This is how it should be. 

But you know, I remember going through these lines and I saw scores of high schoolers for years going through these lines.  Did they know what it meant?  Was it explained to them?  Were they doing it out of obligation, because the coach made them? 

I hope the young america sees plenty of examples of how to be GOOD sports.  There are plenty of examples of how to be a BAD sport out there.  It's ok to voice your opinion.  But I was always taught to call a ref sir or ma'am, state your complaint, then move along.  I want to teach my kids that competing is a privelage and one that should be honored. 
At the end of the day, when we all go home, we are just people.  Pro or Amateur.  Adult or Child.  Beer League or Travel Team.  Everyone deserves respect. 

I'm not sure Serena's fine will make any *real* impact on her behavior. 
Maybe she needs her mom for that.


  1. She annoys the crap out of me. Nothing bugs me worse than poor sportsmanship.

  2. Agree, it's gone out the window. Of course, I also feel touchdown dancing and doing any type of "look what awesome thing I just did" is considered poor sportsmanship. Just play the game. The refs can only call what they see. They're human. They aren't perfect. And neither is the player. Well said!

  3. I was just thinking about sportsmanship myself. Did you catch the article about the H.S. cross country kid that carried his injured "foe" back to the start line because he was hurt? Such a great story about sportsmanship and compassion.

  4. Great great topic! It is sad that so much has been lost in the area for sportsmanship... :( Makes me sad.

    I always remember watching the football players to line up and slap hands "good game, good game, good game." I always got a kick out of the way the lines would part like the Red Sea when the players got to the cheerleaders and didn't want to slap their hands [this is in little leagues mind you, I'm sure in HS they were asking for phone numbers].

    Sportsmanship is SO important and I think fans need to take a lesson from this too. I can't imagine going to a game or being at a game and booing the other team, OR heckling a fan that is for the other team. I always try to be as nice as I can. I would hope to get the same respect but that doesn't always happen.

    Great example - last year Penn State came to Alabama for a game. AL's coach stated that he would not stand for the fans to boo Penn State as they ran on the field out of respect for Joe Pa they were asked to not do that. THe day of the game not a single boo was yelled out and I loved that. Fast forward to this year... AL entered Penn State Stadium... to a HUGE ring of boos .. I really felt it lacked class on the Penn State's fans side but... I guess they were bitter over their loss the year before.

  5. $2,500 is chump change for her and she is a poor role model. That is a rule that tennis players learn at age 8 - no excuse for her behavior, and especially for keeping it up for another game. Glad she lost! She needs to move on to her fashion career and let others take her place. Superior playing isn't enough.

  6. Some of my favorite moments in sports is watching opposing players joke around. Whether it's on base during a baseball game, warming up for basketball, or following the game for football. Watching them laugh and make jokes (even though I'm sure there's some trash talking going on) makes me love the game even more!

  7. I've seen some extremely good sportsmanship and some wickedly bad all this week. All the bad has been from adults. Go figure.