Derived from the Latin word Civilitas, civility literally means city. In broader context, cities are places with civil behavior and just like how rules are governing every city, there are rules associated with each sport as well.
Every game has to be played in accordance with the rules. Cheating in a game is analogous to breaking any law in the society and it is a threat to the civilization. Hence, civility is essential in every game and without upholding all the rules, the fun in the game is lost and it would no longer be enjoyable.
As per the NYU Sports and Society Program, sports are beneficial to the society in the following manner:
“Sports are often referred to as fun and games. And they are, but they are far more than that. Sports are a reflection of the most fundamental norms and values that shape human society. Sports represent escape from the world, but they also are a huge presence within the world, accounting for hundreds of billions of dollars in revenue and bringing together more nations and groups than any political entity is capable of doing.
“Sports are a test bed for science and medicine, as well as for teaching, communicating and mentoring. Sports are big business. Sports fuel the media. Sports are critical to advertising and merchandising many of the world’s most lucrative products. Sports shape the beliefs and values of our children. Sports have and can lead the way in societal reform and ethical progress. Sports create our heroes, villains, and pariahs.”
As per the Josephson Institute Center for Sports Ethics and Arizona Sports Suit Accord, this is mentioned about sports:
“Sports can and should enhance the character and uplift the ethics of the nation. Participation in sports is a privilege, not a right. At its best, athletic competition can hold intrinsic value for our society. It is a symbol of a great ideal: pursuing victory with honor. Sports are a major social force that shapes the quality and character of the American culture.”
Sports are activities meant for entertainment. The intent of all youth in sports should be similar to the goal of Iowa Youth Sports Initiative: “Better Athletes, Better People”. This way, we can embed great values in the youth of today and rid the culture of winning at all costs. Adults should walk a fine line with the level of interference in their child’s sports. We have all seen it – the coach who can’t control his or her temper, the fan too quick with a jeer or an insult whenever circumstances seem to go against his daughter or son or their team, spending a fortune for travel teams. Youth sports’ costs rise as bad coaches and fan behavior contributes to referee shortage. It’s an uncomfortable indictment on our guardianship that we’ve allowed our behavior and that of our fellow fans to sink to the point that it has resulted in a shortage of young referees and linesmen who are willing or able to put up with it, forcing organizations to turn to regional companies to find referees.
What made us choose winning over values?
The culture of winning at all costs and the cyclical disease of wanting more starts from the top down. This culture has replaced learning life lessons, building core values and simply having fun. People are much more focused on winning the game rather than respecting the game. It is very difficult to get over that nature.
The only way bullying can exist is if an organization allows it. Sporting organisations are not immune to this, so should they be allowed to develop a culture that might deliver success, but which is at odds with what would be considered acceptable within the wider population. This is clearly a particular issue for organisations that receive funding from the public purse.
Aports teams, which often promote a competitive, tough, and emotionally inexpressive mentality, in accordance with the expectations of manhood placed upon all boys and men (MacArthur & Shields, 2015; Steinfeldt, Vaughan, LaFollette, & Steinfeldt, 2012). Organized sports also serve as a setting to demonstrate proper masculine behaviors and prepare boys and men for life off the field (Fine, 1987; MacArthur & Shields, 2015).
Furthermore, research has shown that men who participate in organized sports exhibit more aggressive behaviors, in both athletic and non-athletic contexts, than those who do not. These behaviors include bullying, sexual violence, and physical aggression (Forbes, Adams-Curtis, Pakalka, & White, 2006). Athletes also tend to hold more positive attitudes toward violence than do non-athletes (Forbes, Adams-Curtis, Pakalka, & White, 2006). Their increased aggression and propensity toward violence is likely due, in part, to the aforementioned masculine social norms that are established on sports teams (Boeringer, 1999; Coulomb-Cabagno & Rascle, 2006; Koss, 1993; Sonderlund et al., 2014; Steinfeldt et al., 2012). This literature review sought to explore the ways in which men’s participation in organized sports influences their engagement in violent and aggressive behaviors, as well as factors related to the variations in types of violence committed.
As per the research, it has been proven that people who have been bullied are seven times more likely to fall into depression and tend to be suicidal as well. They have an unstable mind and are more vulnerable to health problems and habits such as drugs and alcohol.
Hence, it is highly recommended that you inculcate positive locker room culture among players. Consider the case of a Northwestern College volleyball coach, who developed a self-reporting system among players when they touch a ball even if the referees did not see the violation. This makes them honest in life and more positive, making them respectable in the long run.
Additionally, the current research indicates that organized sports are sites in which players establish a set of values and beliefs that exist outside the athletic context. When they are used to propagate negative male gender norms, the outcomes are very serious. Therefore, organized sports provide an opportunity for young and adult men to learn healthy coping strategies and a strong set of moral values.
Joe Ehrmann, a former professional football player in the NFL, has adopted this philosophy. Ehrmann views sports as an opportunity to redefine what it means to be a man and establish that masculinity is about trust, dignity, and integrity, rather than competition and aggression (Tedx Talks, 2013). He explains that as a culture, we must reframe sports and redefine coaching so that sports teams can teach positive values and help boys become emotionally secure and developed men, which would then reduce the level of violence in the athletic community (Tedx Talks, 2013).
Remember, it is the journey that is important and not merely winning! Only when you are honest and play by your values, will you enjoy the game on a deeper level and earn respect. It is not necessary to win every time at all costs!
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