The Duality of Competitive Sports and It's Influence on Society

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We study sports for many different reasons. One of these reasons would be to understand what is good and what is bad about sports. Another reason could be why is the history of sports important. There are many different reasons why we study sports, but the main one is to determine what is good and what is bad.

Sports can be good in many different ways. Sports teach many different lessons whether that is on or off the court. Competition is one element of what makes sports good. It teaches young athletes to compete for a job or a promotion. Another good thing about sports could be the bureaucracy. They keep all the different sports safe and some make it possible for some to get an education alongside playing their sport. The different businesses for sports also help enforce rules and regulations to keep athletes safe, healthy, and able to obtain an education. The benefits of running sports like a business teach an athlete many different lessons. The lesson of showing to practice correlates to showing up to work on time and prepared. Being a student-athlete teaches great time management skills as well. There are many different lessons sports teach no matter the level played. Another good thing about sports is how they are used in society. Yes, using sport to protest about an issue can be bad, but there is a good side to it. Many athletes have taken a stand to help their minority teammates with racism-like issues. They also have done this to help end the prejudice that is within our society. With this, sports also help break the boundaries between social classes as well as countries. The United States uses many different teams and athletes to help promote international goodwill (Eitzen, 2016, p. 26). They are used to bring countries together as well. There are many different examples of how sports have been used to mend a split between different countries. It is quite fascinating that a simple game of Ping-Pong or soccer could help countries come together. Sports have many different things that make them good.

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Like anything else, nothing is perfect. If sports were just good, there would be no debate on whether or not a foul made by a player was the right call or not. As mentioned competition is good, but it can also be bad. Competition can be considered "bad" because it is a "goal of victory [that] is so important for many that it is laudable even if attainted by questionable methods". Sometimes it can cause more harm than good. Some teams will do whatever it takes to win on and off the court. Racism is another issue in sports that make them bad. It affects who plays where as well who gets what coaching job. This also plays alongside male dominance in sports. Many coaches, athletic directors, team managers, owners of a team, or anyone in an authoritative passion are usually if not always a male. This is not good for sports cause it even undermines women sports when it comes to budgets as well as attention in the media. The focus on male sports brings on many different talks like they get a bigger budget, better facilities, and more media coverage. Male dominance is something that has been seen in sports for a very long time and is something that is trying to be changed. With sports today, it is not uncommon to hear about many different deviant behaviors happening. It is sad to say that it is not uncommon to hear about different harmful acts committed within teams or athletic departments as a whole.

As mentioned, sports can be good or bad, but they also play a vital role in American society. The most popular sport or sports of time reflect what kind of America is being presented. Baseball represents life in rural America. The game flows at its own pace just like rural America does. This reflects society because the sport can be used to explain life in those parts of America. Football is used the same way but it represents urban life instead. With a strict time clock and the strongest team winning, represents the rushed work life of a person living in urban America. With sports being able to help define society, it can also be the difference between unity and division. Sports can help open doors for different countries or close them right before the war. The act of sports being used as a unifier or a destroyer has been around for many years. Many different interactions between countries through sports have been a part of shaping American society. Social classes are too another part of sports that help describe a reflection of our society. The sports that are wealthier define what goes on just like wealthier people have more power in our society. The different social classes play different sports. Low-income communities capitalize on sports that have hardly any equipment like basketball and track. Whereas higher income communities focus on swimming, golf, lacrosse, skiing, gymnastics, and any other expensive sport. Although athletes meet each other from different backgrounds, it is rare to see a social class play a sport outside of their norms. Racism in sports is also a reflection of American society. The racism debate that is happening in society is directly correlated with what happens in the sports world. It determines who coaches where and who owns what team. Gender issues are the same kind of deal in sports as well. Title IX was created to help enforce that there is no gender, sex, or race discrimination within sports. As society advances, sports do as well. Helping make equality happen in each sport reflects how society is also trying to make the change as well. Sports maybe just one part of American society, but it is a huge part that helps bring the country together as well as other countries.

In conclusion, sports are good and bad based on what element is being studied. Sports can unify as well as divide. They can also show us a reflection of the society from a different viewpoint. Sports also help define a person based on their views and how they play their sport. Many athletes are figureheads for society, but can also sadly divide a country. Sports can bring everyone together or split everyone apart.

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