The Corruption of Sports

One thing going on in America is obviously the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament. Perhaps what makes this notable is the fact that it is very popular in America. Almost everybody goes to the brackets choosing their winners and losers. And when there are those occasional upsets, the sports world goes wild.

And so there was an upset in the first round of the tournament, in which UCLA lost to the worse-ranked Minnesota. The public’s reaction? Well, I’m pretty sure for Minnesota fans, it was a big hallejuhah, but I’m also pretty sure Bruins fans were not that happy. Correct that. They were very unhappy. So what did UCLA sport officials do in fear? Why, they fired coach Ben Howland and are now looking for another coach.

Coach Howland

Ladies and gentlemen, the question is why did UCLA fire Howland? The first answer that probably pops up is that the UCLA basketball team lost not only in the NCAA first round but also in a big game before that in Las Vegas. But no, that’s not the real reason. The main reason why they fired that coach is because of public pressure. Or in other words, commercialization.

In fact, Ben Howland was a very successful coach in the past season. But just because UCLA lost in just two big games, he got fired. Let’s face it- the sports world is corrupted with money and publicity. This is an issue not only having to do with basketball on the college level, but in many other sports in all levels.  Where the sport’s main focus is not on the well-being of the athletes, but rather on the number of consumers that come every year.

So what is the essential meaning of sports? It is when each athlete physically grows, mentally improves, and is socially acceptable. In other words, sports is all about improving oneself in all aspects of life. But apparently, these Bruin fans and UCLA got it all wrong. To them, what matters is how many games they win and how many games they lose.  So if UCLA ever lost, all they’ll get from the fans is a bunch of boos rather than a pat on a back and a nice job. So the solution: forget about what the public thinks.

Perhaps another excellent sport demonstrating this is American football. Although it is again a popular sport (given the overwhelming bickering I hear everyday when a Super Bowl is coming up), it is in fact perhaps the most dangerous. Many damage is done to many various body parts, but especially the head, where football players’ brains are easily damaged. The result? Many football players end up dieing from Alzheimer’s or end up committing suicide due to a brain tumor. Hello, I thought sports was all about improving oneself? Not killing oneself? See this video below.

What you just saw was one of many similar experiences that many football players have dealt with. So the main point- football is dangerous. I’m not saying football is dangerous, but it obviously has to be fixed in some way in order to make it less dangerous in the future. However, what has the NFL done? Why, they have denied such things to be true, even despite scientific evidence. The NFL, corrupted by its greed, wants to continue with how it was and rack up more and more profits. They don’t want to make any changes for fear that they will lose customers. Obviously, one can see that to the NFL, money is more important than the players’ healths.

Again, this is not just basketball and football. Almost every sport in the world is focused on commercialization. My plea to them- forget about the profits, rather focus on what the game really means- not the money, not the fans, but the players themselves.

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