Sports today has become more about the individual than the team or the organization that they represent. Players/Athletes have become more about the dollars that they can earn for themselves rather than the love for what they play.
When did this become the norm in today’s athletics. Did it start with Jose Canseco back in 1987 when he decided to use PED’s, and bring that culture mainstream in baseball? Regardless of who or when, its a major part of what we see in sports. From Reggie Bush’s parents engaging in improper benefits, to Terrell Pryor selling memorabilia to gain cash and tattoo’s. Both instance saw people use there or someone else’s celebrity to gain benefits in which they were not entitled to, at least according to the rules.
Robert K. Merton coined the phrase Self-fullfilling prophecy, which is a false definition of the situation evoking a new behaviour which makes the original false conception come ‘true’. This specious validity of the self-fulfilling prophecy perpetuates a reign of error.
Athletes alike, more commonly use this ideal as a way to justify their means to gain millions of dollars and fame. It creates habits, which allows others to perpetuate the same ideas and cause a chain effect all through out. From parents who coach at the little league level to everyday athletes.
I guess its only natural for us all to want to be excepted and popular. We all want to be rich and famous. We all want that for our kids. But whats lost in it all, is the idea of hard work and ethics. We teach nothing by resulting to bad habits and poor choices. Social Media, the internet, are both larger than ever, and are resources for today’s youth to turn down the wrong path.
Its my opinion that that the biggest fraud in all of sports is Lance Armstrong. No athlete has been tested more than Lance. But while he has never tested positive for PED’s, he also stands more to lose than any other sports figure in history. His story of his courageous comeback back from cancer and winning 7 Tour de France title is heroic on many levels. But the fact that several of his former training partners have said he used during his title runs, speaks volumes to his credibility. Lance has made millions not from winning a bike race. But more from his image as a successful Cancer Survivor. His LIVE STRONG campaign by Nike brings in Millions annually to the cause and to him. His self-fulfilling prophecy will be his demise in the end.
Its stories like Lance’s that make me wonder will sports ever be like it was in the 50’s, 60’s, 70’s, and 80’s. When it was about the love of the games they played. About the name on the front of the Jersey and not the back. I can only hope my son realizes that his talent level will take him as far as he wants it to. But through hard work, dedication, and his willingness to be the best with the effort he puts in.