Sport is an ancient invention, originating in 2000 BC. It is something that plays a huge role in most human lives. One cannot simply define sport as ‘physical activity’ because sport is a term which entails such depth, power and controversy. The way in which I see sport is as something with great power that acts as a unifier and has the potential to drastically change one’s life, for better or for worse.
Joe Humphreys, an Irish Times journalist and author, challenges the idea of sport as a whole in his book Foul Play. He challenges the idea that sport is a positive influence on athletes, spectators and the world. He claims that sport has a mysterious ability to make us lose perspective. Humphreys’ view is that sport brings out the bad side of people, that sport goes against family values and he feels strongly that sport encourages immoral behavior.
Since sport was first introduced thousands of years ago, it has drastically evolved. The basic idea ...view middle of the document...
Modern sport can be seen in a different light to ancient sport and is a topic which is surrounded by debate. I see the evolvement of sport as a radical shift. When sport was first created it was very basic and stuck to its main intentions which shined through the sports themselves. On the contrary, today sport is suffocated with hundreds of materialistic factors which have a detrimental effect on the fundamental aims of sport itself. Factors such as: doping, trainers, coaches, sponsors, publicists and stylists have the large potential to destroy and shield the original aims of sport. These factors have put all the emphasis on materialism and not the legitimate sport itself. This is an area which I believe Joe Humphreys’ argument is valid.
Sport today is mainly characterized by money-oriented elements. If one analyses, for example, the billion dollar soccer industry, he/ she will find that the whole industry is about merchandise, negative competition (which ultimately leads to hooliganism), doping and just all in all an industry that revolves around money. Humphreys’ idea that sport is a negative influence on athletes, spectators and the world in general could be argued when considering modern-day sport. It has the potential to be a negative influence on athletes as it could risk their wellbeing and health (doping, too much pressure and stress) and a negative influence on spectators by encouraging hooliganism, violence, discriminatory behavior and cheating.
To conclude, it can be said that sport is a complex, powerful and beneficial creation that has severely evolved over the past thousands of years. Sport clearly has the potential to be a tool to gain leadership skills, team working skills and many other profits and this has been proven in many cases of ancient sport and even through some cases of modern-sport. Modern-sport and its massive industry have essentially crushed the roots of why sport was created. Sport is now mainly considered a ‘fashion’ of sorts and it is difficult to see the real gains of this beautiful invention. Joe Humphreys’ philosophy of sport can only be applied to the industrialized modern-day sport of today but it certainly cannot be true for the original founders and the preliminary objectives of sport.