Today’s youth organizations are signing up kids for sports, they play a full season, and every player in the end gets a participation trophy. Is this ruining kids for the future? In my opinion, I believe there is an age where participation trophies are acceptable, which is up to fifth grade. After that, I believe that participation should be acknowledged, but with a high five, or a pat on the back. Trophies should be something that is earned through hard work and dedication. There would be no need for having skills if everyone just got a trophy anyway.
As a kid I would keep every first place medal or ribbon, and throw out second and beyond. My parents thought this was a crazy practice and that I put too much emphasis on winning. I think that every good thing should be recognized, but trophies never meant all that much to me. I won State Cross Country and got a gold medal. I lost my gold medal because we totaled our van by hitting a deer that night, and I lost it forever. My coach asked if they wanted to order me a new one but I said no. The moral of the story is trophies are not the biggest part of a victory. People know you did well and that is what matters. The same goes with participation trophies. People know you participated, so why do you need a trophy for it?
The New York Times had a good quote on the topic when they stated that “It’s through failure and mistakes that we learn the most. We must focus on process and progress, not results and rewards.” So if we never fail by giving kids trophies, how do we learn? This is a strong lesson everyone should learn for life.
PhsycologyToday.com says “we’re more committed to an activity when we do it out of passion, rather than an external reward such as a trophy.” This a good point. If we do not do a sport out of passion and just for a trophy, what is the point? what happened to just playing a sport for the fun of it.
From a very young age to adulthood, we are taught to have sportsmanship in sports. Should this be taught at an early age or should it be taken out of the game? In my opinion it is a vital part of the game, but it is not fully exclusive to all age groups. I believe that it is good to have a base for learning sportsmanship at a young age but less important such as in the NFL or NBA because at this level, it is more about the fans than the players.
First off, what is sportsmanship? kidshealth.org defines sportsmanship as four different things. Sportsmanship is playing fair, following the rules of the game, respecting the judgment of referees and officials, and treating opponents with respect. Playing fair is important but there are always different aspects that give people an edge in sports (that are within the confines of the rules). Playing fair is again for younger ages, but getting older you get to pick your team so you do not have to play fair, leagues play the best. Respecting the judgement of officials and judges should be a quality that every player should have at all levels. Sometimes referees get a few calls wrong, but the more you complain, the more they will target you. Always follow the rules of the game, that should be standard at all levels. The last is treating opponents with respect. This does not always apply because it was very fun to watch Dennis Rodman in his prime. He did not treat everyone with respect, but that is part of the game.
Sportsmanship is important at all levels, but can make the game more fun if there is a rivalry where two teams hate each other. Fans should stay out of the game, as they are there to cheer. Referees and judges should be respected at all levels. There is no one term fits all for sportsmanship.
Players of sports, specifically in the National Football League are increasingly starting to kneel during the national anthem as a sign of protest against the social issues in the United States. Is this justified? In my opinion it is definitely justified and this is their right as an American.
The first reason I believe that players should be able to kneel during the national anthem is because it is their right under the first amendment. The first amendment states that as an American citizen one is allowed to peaceably assemble or in other words protest if it is peaceful. There is so many other options that are more harmful and more violent than kneeling during the national anthem. If anything the backlash for seeing people kneel was more violent in some cases than the actual protest.
The second reason I believe that players should be able to kneel during the national anthem is because just because they are national figures does not mean that they do not have an opinion. They are American citizens as well but many do not think they should have an opinion as a professional athlete. I think it is great that they are using their platform for something other than tossing a football or basketball or any other ball around.
The last reason I believe that athletes should be able to kneel during the national anthem is that when people think that something is wrong in our country, they have a right to try to bring light to it. That is why Americans of today broke off from the British, because they were not being treated right. There has been a history of oppression in our country. Not every cop is bad towards African Americans nor is every cop good which is what this whole protest was about. In my opinion it is not only African Americans that are oppressed but gay people, other nationalities, women and many other groups that should be represented in the protest. There are many alternatives that could have been far worse, plus Colin Kappernick, who started all the protests donates to charities and donates his time, so he is not one of the people causing trouble, but rather standing (kneeling) for social injustices in our country.