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Some Info to Shake Up the Jock Establishment!

QUOTE: "We have analyzed the ritual that is high school sport and analyzed the myths that give meaning to this ritual. This mythology stresses character-building and the educational value of sport. Analysis of the available data for each of the mythic elements has demonstrated little scientific support for any part of this belief system, even though for a few points the evidence is ambiguous or inconclusive.

Sports does not build character, at least not in the way many Americans think it does. Overall, sport does not promote substantial educational or socioeconomic attainment. High school sport does not reduce delinquency or racial prejudice. Moreover, during the course of an individual's life, high school sport does not promote social success or health. In short, there is no statistically measurable positive long-term benefit for those who played high school sports when compared with those who did not participate."

--- quote from Lessons Of The Locker Room: The Myth of School Sports, by Andrew W. Miracle, Jr. and C. Roger Rees, a very well-balanced critique of the way American society handles high school sports, and the "myth" behind it. As part of its well-balanced style, it also includes mention of the positive aspects of sports, and suggestions for reforming the system as it now is.

QUOTE: "Participation in athletics does not cause men to abuse women, but it can help to incite such acts. And certainly the culture of male athletics (using sexist locker room dialogue, rewarding aggressiveness, legitimizing violence) helps to sustain negative attitudes toward women. A stronger link between male athletes and the criminal abuse of women is the socialization process that takes place away from the playing field, and is connected with celebrity status. The elevated status of successful athletes exposes them to exceptional amounts of illicit behavior, particularly in the form of sexual activity. Operating under an increased sense of power and the mantle of public trust, athletes inclined to sexual and physical violence have ample opportunity to exploit women who often misperceive them as respectable citizens. Among men who harbor violent tendencies toward women, athletic success may accelerate the exhibition of abusive attitudes, increasing the frequency of violent incidents. Nonetheless, that is less a function of athletics per se than a reflection of the modern athletes's status as an icon of pop culture. But an occupation that thrives on a unique capacity for aggression among participants runs the risk of becoming a home for troubled men who cannot contain their rage against the opposite sex."

--from Public Heroes, Private Felons: Athletes and Crimes Against Women. by Jeff Bennedict.

QUOTE: "The transformation of sports into heresy occurred without our realizing what has happening. It engulfs our history and reaches back over a thousand years of Western culture. Before we knew it, our treasured ideals celebrating the unity of mind and body, mens sana in corpore sano, sapientia et fortitudo, music and gymnastic, and strength and beaty were reduced to such simplistic proclaimations as 'Winning is the only thing,' which for too many coaches, administrators, and alumni became 'Winning ball games is the only thing.' Just as religion has been warped to justify sports, so sports have been warped to assist in preparation for war and the waging of it, as a techinque in the training of soldiers but mainly as a reinforcing symbol of manliness and knighthood."

--- quote from God In The Stadium, by Robert J. Higgs. The book is about the way sports has undermined religion, and has become a religion itself.

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