Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Can the ugliness be cleaned out of sport?

Tribalism  - it rocks the stands with excitement with a magical drop-goal slices between the posts, it raises the roof when a fighter lands a killer punch. There's nothing more contagious in sports than the instant bond of that shared moment. Perfection in a bubble. 

But the bit we chose to ignore is how that bond can work against revealing anything bad, anything that could tarnish the sport. Or stop the money from rolling in for some people.Reading about what happened in the Penn State football team reminds people in Ireland of scandals involving swimming coaches, GAA coaches and innocent kids who just wanted to play sport. And once again, you just have to ask why so many organisations are unable to prevent pedophiles from taking positions of authority? When we are so aware of the "stranger-danger" why do we allow men like this to take charge of children? 

From what I've read Sandusky's actions were well-flagged and people simply closed ranks. It's easy to jump on the high moral ground and tut-tut in disgust but it happens in so many places. The tribalism that can make your heart sing is exactly the thing men like him use to bind others inside their sick actions. Everytime stories like this break, you think Ok, this now will be the end of it but it doesn't seem to make any difference. 

What do you think, can we reach a stage where crimes in the locker-room will be seen for what they are?


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