Win, lose or draw: the value of sport isn’t dependent on the outcome

Sports are an ongoing battle between ego and soul. If you choose soul, both sides can succeed, no matter what the scoreboard says

Win, lose or draw: the value of sport isn’t dependent on the outcomeWin-at-all-costs (WAAC) ethos greatly damage sports, which at their best are a great socio-cultural practice. The WAAC mentality sees sport as a metaphor for war, in which opponents are evil and must be conquered. It’s a mindset that sees only one thing of value in athletic competition: winning. Football coach Vince Lombardi was quoted as…

The increasing – and disturbing – militarization of U.S. sports

The NFL and other pro sports leagues don't celebrate the military as gestures of patriotism. The only motivating factor is money

The increasing – and disturbing – militarization of U.S. sportsAmerica’s major professional sports leagues – most notably the National Football League – have increasingly teamed with the military and corporations to serve up ugly forms of paid and forced patriotism. “The melding of sports and the military should be seen as inappropriate, if not insidious,” says William Astore, a retired U.S. Air Force lieutenant-colonel…

Serena Williams: The epitome of poor sportsmanship

There isn’t any sport – played by men or women – in which Williams’ behaviour at the U.S. Open would or should be tolerated

Serena Williams: The epitome of poor sportsmanshipSerena Williams wanted an apology from Carlos Ramos. It should’ve been the other way around. Ramos was the chair umpire in the U.S. Open women’s tennis final last Saturday. The match pitted Williams against a young upstart from Japan named Naomi Osaka. Ramos is widely recognized as one of pro tennis’s best umpires, one of…

The stunning hypocrisy of big-time American college sports

Urban Meyer shouldn’t be Ohio State’s coach today. An educator? A builder of young men? A complete joke on both counts

The stunning hypocrisy of big-time American college sports.901. That’s Urban Meyer’s winning percentage at Ohio State. It’s also the only reason he’s still the head football coach at Ohio State today. After protecting – and covering up for – despicable assistant coach Zach Smith – and lying about it – Ohio State’s board of trustees gave Meyer a three-game suspension (and for…

When will abusive coaches finally be kicked out of sports?

Sports needs to be built on a foundation of humanistic coaching. A tragic incident at the University of Maryland shows why

When will abusive coaches finally be kicked out of sports?Legendary football coach Vince Lombardi has been dead for 48 years. Yet his treat-’em-like-dogs coaching style is very much alive in today’s sports world. The University of Maryland football program is but the latest example of reportedly tyrannical coaches allegedly going way beyond legitimate coaching techniques. It’s apparently another example of what I call Lombardi…

Playing football is one scary game of Russian roulette

Despite North Carolina football coach Larry Fedora’s rosy perspective, the dangers of head trauma are extraordinary

Playing football is one scary game of Russian rouletteLarry Fedora, the head football coach at the University of North Carolina, had a few interesting things to say last week. Fedora believes that if football declines in the United States – due to links between playing the game and CTE, a chronic and debilitating brain disease – the country will decline as well. “There…

Become an agent of change for sports

We need more people who are passionate about sportsmanship, equal opportunity and safer playing conditions, to name a few

Become an agent of change for sports“Each time a man stands up for an ideal, or acts to improve the lot of others, or strikes out against injustice, he sends forth a tiny ripple of hope, and crossing each other from a million different centres of energy and daring, those ripples build a current that can sweep down the mightiest walls…

Should young people even be playing football?

CTE isn’t just a pro football Issue; college and high school players are also at risk, and the damage can be life-altering

Should young people even be playing football?Most people associate chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), a progressive brain disease caused by repetitive brain trauma, with professional football – specifically retired Canadian Football League and National Football League players.  But CTE is more than a pro football issue. While the Boston University CTE Center has discovered CTE in the brains of 110 of 111…

There’s no such thing as a concussion-safe football helmet

The only way to significantly reduce brain trauma is greatly reducing the number of full-contact practices and scrimmages

There’s no such thing as a concussion-safe football helmetHelmet makers, along with some coaches, athletic directors and youth sports administrators would like you to believe that there are football helmets available that will greatly reduce the risk of brain trauma and concussions. To put it nicely, they’re misleading you. The reality is there’s very little a helmet can do to prevent brain trauma and…

Professional sports turning grieving into a PR scam

The great divide in sports is spurred by phoney patriotism and over-commercialization

Professional sports turning grieving into a PR scamWhen President George W. Bush took the mound at Yankee Stadium to throw out the first pitch following the horrific 9/11 attacks, sports helped bring the United States together as a country. As Howard Bryant recently wrote, sports were a “healing balm” for a hurting nation. But since then, pro sports owners and big-time college…

Legalized U.S. sports gambling? It’s about time

Now the trick is to put the revenue to the best use: on public fitness and activity initiatives

Legalized U.S. sports gambling? It’s about timeThe U.S. Supreme Court recently struck down a federal ban on sports gambling. My first thought was what took so long? Americans can legally bet on soybean futures, the rise and fall of stocks, horse races, dog races, state lotteries, real estate investments, church bingo games, the roll of dice and various card games. But…

NFL puts greed ahead of freedom of expression, again

NFL owners are rich, not necessarily smart. Forcing players to stand at attention during the national anthem undermines basic rights

NFL puts greed ahead of freedom of expression, again“Being rich doesn’t mean you’re smart, honest or fair. It just means you're rich.” That’s how John Feinstein ended his column about how former San Francisco 49er Eric Reid is getting punished by rich National Football League owners – in the same way former 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick is – for kneeling during the playing…

Drop-in ads on baseball radio broadcasts are getting out of hand

It’s like meeting a longtime friend for a relaxing coffee chat only to get barraged by a multi-level marketing sales pitch

Drop-in ads on baseball radio broadcasts are getting out of handI can still see my dad, lying on his nursing home bed, listening to a baseball broadcast on his transistor radio. The broadcasters were his daily companions as he dealt with a challenging and scary health issue. In a sense, they were actually his friends; people he could count on to take his mind off…