By ZACH MORETTI
Sportsmanship is in great decline in major sports all across the country. It started in late May when Cleveland Cavaliers forward Lebron James didn’t shake hands and dodged the media after his team lost to the Orlando Magic in the Eastern Conference Finals. You can’t take all the glory and bask in the positive glow from the media when your team wins but bail on your teammates when you lose and slip out the backdoor.
In the relatively tame sport of golf, Tiger Woods is notorious for screaming out curse words when he hits a bad drive and tosses his clubs after a poor shot. It just comes off as though he is throwing a temper tantrum every time he doesn’t play well.
After Oregon lost to Boise State in a football game on September 3rd, Oregon running back LeGarrette Blount punched a Boise State opponent and then tried to go into the stands to fight fans who were heckling him. You can be frustrated that you lost, but there is no excuse for punching someone or trying to attack people in the stands.
Michael Jordan seemed childish last Friday when he took multiple cheap shots in his Hall of Fame speech at people that he felt had wronged him in some way. This was supposed to be a happy time for MJ to reflect on all the great things he had done, yet instead he used it to try to tear down other people.
Last Saturday Tennis superstar Serena Williams’ launched f-bombs at a line judge at the U.S. Open after she was called for a foot fault. “I swear to God I’m [expletive] going to take this [expletive] ball and shove it down your [expletive] throat, you hear that? I swear to God.” Then after she exploded, Williams acted as though what she had done wasn’t even wrong and argued the fact that she was being penalized a point. No matter the circumstances, you cannot do that.
So the question is, what happened to sportsmanship? One doesn’t have to be happy when they lose and they are entitled to be frustrated or disappointed, but they cannot act as these individuals did. These people are supposed to be role models, and their actions make them look like rich cry babies who can’t take losing. There needs to be change from these athletes. Enough with athletes thinking they can be poor sports and all will be forgiven if they apologize after. That’s not good enough. We hold these people to a higher a standard, and it’s time they start acting like adults and leave the childishness behind.