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Fair and Foul: Beyond the Myths and Paradoxes of Sport

Autor:   •  August 24, 2017  •  3,704 Words (15 Pages)  •  779 Views

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Chapter 5: Sport is Healthy, Sport is Destructive


Clearly sport can lead to a vast array of health benefits. Sports promote coordination, stamina, strength, strong bones, joint flexibility, and heart and lung capacity. Exercise however; there is an unhealthy side of sport through covering such issues as injury. Injury in a sport can have a life long effect not only on your body, but also on your mind. Concussions have been on the up rise in the NFL due to bigger and faster players. This is the dark side of the sport and it seems to get pushed off to the side in the headlines of many sport articles. Many other things in sport are destructive that include: overtraining, unhealthy weight management activities, drug use, and the influence of overly demanding parents, and coaches, and even the potential for sexual abuse.

- “Athletes are socialized to accept pain and injury as part of the game and to “play hurt” (Page 86).

As a current athlete this statement is true to its fullest. Especially as a football player you tend to have bumps/bruises/strains/aches or whatever you want to call them during a season. You have pressure to play from yourself because you don’t want to be the wimp sitting out. You also have pressure from teammates and coaches urging you to suck it up.

- “The use of artificial means to improve performance presents a paradox—while improving performance, it diminishes that performance” (Page 93).

Taking performance enhancing is dumb first off. Secondly, it amazes me how many collegiate and pro athletes get caught trying to scam the system. When athletes get banned or most of the time a slap on the wrist for using performance enhancing drugs it sends the wrong message to our youth. This tells them that in order to get to the next level they need to use some sort of enhancing drug. These drugs have life long effects that kids don’t know about.

Chapter 6: The Organization of Children’s Play: Peer Centered or Adult Centered?


There are two forms of play for children. The first is adult-organized sports which are modeled after professional sports with uniforms, standard practice, game schedules, tournaments, referees, rules, and coaches who teach skill and strategy. The second is peer play which is player controlled, players gather and teams are selected, rules are decided, and adults are not present. Kids tend to enjoy and socialize more in peer play. They also learn to develop decision making skills. Sportsmanship is handled better through peer play than adult organized sports. Excessive demands from parents and coaches are sometimes to demanding for kids and coaches need to know the difference between work and having fun.

- “The emphasis is on action, not winning” (Page 103).

Kids want action and that’s it. Winning isn’t everything to kids and it shouldn’t be. During my childhood, I remember playing backyard baseball with neighborhood friends and we always had a fun time, but winning wasn’t everything. Now during adult-hood, winning is everything to coaches, parents, and fans.

- “Peer pressure demands good behavior, but if unsportsmanlike acts occur, the offender is banished from the game by his/her peers” (Page 105).

During peer play sportsmanship is handled by others playing the game. Usually these cases don’t happen because at a young age you want to act like everyone else and do the right thing. You don’t want your unsportsmanlike acts affecting social status with your peers. Adults tend to encourage unsportsmanlike behavior such as trash talking and intimidating opponents.

Chapter 7: Sport is Expressive, Sport is Controlled


Control is essential for social order. Sport serves control functions for society, and social control is a vital part of sport. Social control is a central figure in sport leading to an opportunity for positive functions such as team unity. When everyone in a group can cooperate with each other and everyone can come together to achieve one common goal it will have a positive affect on overall performance of that group. Also, such social control can also reinforce a status quo that is not good for everyone and can be detrimental to underrepresented groups.

- “Social control is based on concepts such as social order, norms, and deviance” (Page 126).

Everyone wants to adapt to the norms of what’s right and wrong. If a coach succeeds in establishing its own norms, then out of the norm behavior is minimized. I believe social order is something that is earned and not given. Some organizations tend to forget that and are met with resistance from athletes.

- “From early childhood games to professional sports, the sports experience is “gendered” (Page 128).

Boys at a young age are expected to be physically tough and to accept pain. Physical contact sport is expected for boys and men but not for girl and women. This starts the process of domination in society for the male athlete. Sports are directly associated with your male identity and popularity.

Chapter 8: Myth: Sports Are Played On A Level Playing Field


This chapter talks about uneven playing fields in sport which include: racial inequities, gender inequities, the rich getting richer in big-time college sport, and the rich getting richer in major league baseball. Racial factors tend to be heading out the window as more African American athletes are playing sports, but they lack numbers in head coaching positions. At the professional level women have many fewer opportunities than men. As far as Division I football programs, they hold an absolute advantage over smaller market teams. Most of the top tier football programs double other athletic programs budgets. I believe this is not a level playing field for all Division I programs. Money builds bigger stadiums, field houses, weight rooms, and training equipment. All of those factors bring in the top recruits each year.

- “Racial minorities do not have the same opportunities as whites when their playing careers are finished” (Page 149).

I believe in today’s society everyone has an equal chance and the same


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