2. My Definition of Sportsmanship
I would define sportsmanship as the combination of respect, honesty, and compassion displayed during a competition.
3. Where Can I Find Sportsmanship?
Everyone knows players are expected to display
sportsmanship on the field. However there are
other lesser-known sources of sportsmanship:
1. Owners and Coaches
2. Health and Safety
3. Athletes within their communities
4. Fan Behavior
4. Owners and Coach
After his NFL coaching
career came to an end,
Sam Wyche began to
focus on promoting
sports of all levels. He
currently instills these
values in the high school
he currently coaches at.
The head of the Pittsburgh
Steelers was fined
$100,000 for standing in
the way of Jacoby Jones
during a kick return. He
placed Jones in great risk
of injury and simultaneously
damaged his reputation and
that of the Steelers.
Owners and Coaches have a responsibility to control their own behavior as much
as they are responsible for the behavior of their players.
5. Health and Safety
January of this year I experienced my most severe injury ever. While
attempting to block a layup I flew into the wall behind the basketball hoop. I
subsequently broke my wrist while attempting to avoid slamming into the
wall. I was asked if I could continue to play, to which I replied, “I don’t know”
as my pride would not allow me to exit the game. About twenty seconds
into the play I realized I had severely injured myself, and asked to be
removed from the game. I was then given medical attention from a
volunteer at the gymnasium. He gave me ice, which did not seem to ease
any of the pain. About five minutes later the manager of the gymnasium
made me a splint out of cardboard and tape. Given the severity of the injury
and the lack of medical personal in the gym, I believe that the employees
were properly ethical in dealing with my injury.
During a 1985 game of Monday Night Football, the football career of Joe
Theismann was ended on one hit. After being sacked by Laurence Tayler,
Theismann had a compound fracture in his leg (looks gruesome on film).
Laurence Tayler showed great sportsmanship by frantically motioning for
medical personal to attend to Theismann. However the manner in which
the medical staff took care of Theismann could be described as unethical.
According to Theismann, “When [he] was transported from the gurney into
the ambulance, they forgot to pick up [his] right leg and [he] remember[s]
asking the attendant, ‘Can someone pick up my leg?’” Leaving his injured
leg dangling in such a way is neglectful and careless. This is classic
example of unethical medical attention in sports.
Medical Staff are expected to follow all regulations and appease any discomforts expressed from
players. Equal attention should be provided to all players, regardless of skill level.
6. Athletes and Community
Magic Johnson is an example of an athlete whose actions
have provided positive impact on his community. Since
contracting HIV in 1991 he has given a great deal of money
of towards treating HIV as well as improving Los Angeles.
He created the Magic Johnson Foundation in 1991 with a
which aimed to help prevent HIV/AIDS. Years later it would
expand into educational and other programs that aimed to
address issues of diverse urban cultures. He combined his
passion for combating HIV and the city of angels by
creating The Magic Johnson Foundation.
Lance Armstrong’s actions had a negative impact on the
cycling community as a whole. His steroid use in addition
to his years of lying about it, ruined Armstrong’s
reputation with fans. The result of the revelation was
heavy backlash; he was disassociated from various
charities and damaged the image of the sport of cycling
for many years to come.
Athletes of all kind, but especially at the professional level, should be providing a positive impact on his
7. Fan Behavior
One example of the dangers of an unregulated group of fans can be
found after a high school basketball game in my home state of
Connecticut. After what was thought to be a game winning shot,
Hall’s students rushed the court in celebration. However, as it turns
out Conrad had called a timeout with 2.2 seconds left. During the
rush fans began to get into scuffles that resulted in police
intervention. Finally 10 minutes later they were able to resume play.
This never should have occurred had fans of both side acted as if
they were sitting next to their mother.
In my opinion, there are few greater feelings than having a crowd
cheer you on. One memory that comes to mind is also quite an
obscure one, it was eighth grade field day. I was one of four
representatives for my class in our grades relay race. When I was
passed the baton I heard cheers from my friends and classmates,
louder than ever before. As cliché as it may sound I think the cheers
must have helped me run even faster because we actually ended up
Fans are responsible for representing themselves and their communities during sporting events. This
means they are expected to behave with respect and positivity.
8. Conclusion: What does the Future hold?
Given the trends in political correctness and tolerance I can predict a significant
improvement in the ethics of sports players, owners, and fans alike. I believe
society is catering more and more to the opinions of those who feel victimized by
various forms of intolerance and as a result sports leagues will be more diligent in
protecting the morality of their sports.