It was a disappointing moment for us when we heard the sportscaster say that he would lie to the referee if it would benefit him and his team. It happened during a men’s volleyball contest. In the Olympics no less, a place where teams come together to compete with sportsmanship and perhaps improve international relations a bit, at least among young people.
We didn’t catch his name but the message is not a good one. Sadly it happens in many group sports.
Perhaps soccer is one of the best examples. Players occasionally fall down as if fouled when they haven’t been. Some feign injury to try to get a tougher penalty against the opponent. Others may move the ball after the ref has placed it down for a free kick.
Why is it tolerated? Some possible reasons:
1- Lack of respect for the sport
2. Lack of respect for the fans
3. Lack of respect for the players
4. Lack of will by sports governing bodies to change the status quo.
5. Some chicanery is easily detected but some is harder to determine definitively.
Ignoring the problem seems to us inexcusable. Researchers agree that it’s contagious. It spreads from one part of life to another from the relatively small group which does it often.
The governing bodies of the sports should be looking into new rules or any other way to reduce the problems. In our view, the sports leaders would have a tough time justifying why they haven’t acted.