Is Sportsmanship Dead?

Everyone loves sports and with that every loves their sportsrivalries. With famous rivalries like Yankees-Red Sox, Michigan-Ohio State,Harvard-Yale and Iowa State-Iowa, the atmosphere of college and professionalsports is one that is very intense. Along with these intense rivalries, it isexpected that there will be a certain amount of disrespect and malicious chantsdirected at members of the opposing team. While this is expected, and oftenaccepted at the college level, this lack of sportsmanship has recently trickleddown to the high school level. As I have attended more high school events thisyear, I have noticed that students are more likely and often encouraged to dothings like read newspapers when the opposing team is announced or chant (ortweet) inappropriate material. This trend is very unfortunate, because thereare several fundamental differences between college and professional sports andhigh school sports. For starters, the primary goal of the majority of highschool sports associations is to promote sportsmanship between schools. This isthe reason that there aren’t any famous high school rivalries. The point ofhigh school sports is to be able to explore sports, not to destroy your self-proclaimedrival school. Additionally, being rude to another school is a very hypocriticalway to promote school spirit in your own school. Secondly, a vast majority ofthe athletes who are competing at a college level have been recruited andunderstand the environment they will enter during a rivalry game. This isespecially true at the professional level, where all the athletes haveexperience rivalry environments in college and are also getting paid to performtheir sport. At the high school level, it is the exact opposite. Most athletes won’tever be recruited and many will stop playing after graduating high school. Thusit seems unnecessary to subject them to unsportsmanlike activity.