Is All Really Fair in Sports?

I remember having the topic “All is fair in War and Sports” for an intra-class debate in our 6th grade. Though the debate didn’t go well I remember the topic really well for the wrong reasons. We got reprimanded by the teacher for not preparing the talks and just making the event a grand failure. However, whatever we did during the debate was spontaneous and not pre-planned. Unlike some of the events that unfolded during the Lord’s test match over the last 3-4 days between England and Pakistan.

Back to the question. Is everything fair in sports? There have been numerous examples of flawed “geniuses”. Sportsmen who have been idolized, only to be termed, for wont of a worse term, as “cheats”. Take men like Maradona, Ben Johnson. Most recently Marion Jones. These athletes/sportspersons, who were supposedly larger than life had their lives tainted for the rest of their lives. No amount of regretting from them is going to change the fact that they cheated.

Forget all of them. Take the case of a certain footballer named Cristiano Ronaldo. There are times when we wonder if he is in the wrong sport. Even when he was a Manchester United player and winning titles for the club, I had a disliking for him. Simply because his methods were not fair.

Sport is supposed to be an area of glorious uncertainties. Like many of the people I know have been saying about the incident(and probably many before this), it has become an area of inglorious certainties.  Professionals doing everything for the money. Even putting the pride of their country/team at stake to get what they want. Which is money in most cases.

There was a time when as a kid growing up, I wanted to be like a certain sportsperson. Looking back, I am ashamed. These are mere individuals who are going about their jobs. And a few of them, using unfair means to earn more than their counterparts and colleagues. I can imagine the consequences if some means are adopted to get an unfair advantage over the competitors in the professional life. Or in some cases, embracing mediocrity to gain advantage over a few, in terms of monetary benefits.

Play it fair is what they taught us. I am sure the current crop of athletes came through the same school of thought. Like with most things learnt through the education system, this probably was left behind in the books.

PS : Do read the excellent write-up by my friend Venkat Ananth, on Yahoo!

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About milcom
A software developer by profession, Milcom is a football lover and considers music as his religion. While he is not working, he likes reading blogs, listening to music, reading novels or simply sitting idle, in which he is a world champion.

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