Home > Social Issues > Sports at the General level

Sports at the General level

February 21st, 2010

Christopher Hitchens does have a point. At the individual or small-group level, it is possible that sports can lead to greater mutual appreciation and understanding, boosting friendship and strengthening ties. Done the right way, for the right reasons, it can also build character and teach moral lessons.

However, at larger levels, sports rarely if ever does that. Instead, it divides, pitting populations, usually regional, against each other, to the point of starting fights and, as Hitchens shows, sometimes even localized conflicts. As a small example, I don’t recall any San Franciscan and Los Angeleno coming closer or forming any ties of friendship due to their sports teams; on the contrary, it has made casual enemies of two cities which otherwise would not have had much against each other. Same for the Olympics. Traditionally, it has been a showcase for rivalries, for demonstrating superiority, and not for building bridges. This is not to say that anyone who watches sports is aggressive or arrogant, or that one cannot watch sports purely for innocent personal enjoyment of the game–again, that’s an individual-level effect.

But sports at the general level is actually a form of nationalism when you think of it. It should be a civilizing influence, but it’s not.

Categories: Social Issues Tags: by
  1. K. Engels
    February 23rd, 2010 at 04:09 | #1

    But Ohio State fans are still wankers, right? =p

    GO BLUE!!

  2. February 23rd, 2010 at 21:25 | #2

    Was wondering about that.
    I’d love to see the site back if possinle.
    If it helps, I do my hosting through solfire.com. Might check with them on possible hosting maybe.


Comments are closed.