Thursday, April 04, 2013

Sports and the Culture

This opinion piece by former NBA player John Amaechi on the firing of Rutgers coach Mike Rice is a good take on the culture of coaching:

Rutgers coach and sports bully culture

"(CNN) -- Too often, it's tempting to view sports through rose-tinted glasses. We believe that coaches always have the best interests of our young people at heart and that everything they do on the side of that court, field, pool or track is for the long-term, holistic benefit of young people.

We even rationalize that coach-player interaction and athlete management behavior that makes us wince and avert our gaze somehow makes our children -- and even society -- stronger and our future elite athlete role models more humble and worthy.

Sadly, "it's character-building" is the rallying cry for dysfunction and another damaged generation. Even when we believe that a young person's sports experience is on the wrong track, we convince ourselves it can't have that much of an impact. I wish that were true, but medieval coaches, like the recently fired Mike Rice at Rutgers University, are a detriment to society, not just sport.

As a former basketball player at college and in the NBA, I know this coaching style firsthand."

Coaches can be a huge influence on athletes and what is considered acceptable behavior is way below what is expected of teachers.  Athletes and sports have a huge influence on the culture at large and vice versa. Catholics should have a good influence on both sports and culture especially since there are so many Catholic colleges, universities, high schools and elementary schools.

At The Deacons Bench there is an article linked that shows that people often choose sports for their children above going to Church on Sunday.  Chaminade High School has a good practice - an entire sports team attends Mass together on Sunday at each teammate's parish.

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