Importance of sportsmanship

By Tyler Vanderelst |Staff Writer|

Sportsmanship has been driven into athletes from a young age as they are taught how to get along with their teammates and opponents.

Most athletes display cordial sportsmanship in games but others let their emotions get the best of them.

Being a “good sport” can range from a variety of actions, like a handshake after the game or helping an injured opponent off the field.

In a lot of instances, those who show bad sportsmanship are players who leave the court or field after the game without interacting with the other team. It can also be something during a game, like baseball when someone hits a home run and flips their bat afterward.

One player who is notorious for bat flipping is the Toronto Blue Jays outfielder Jose Bautista. On May 17, Bautista hit a home run against the Atlanta Braves and flipped his bat, which made the players on the Braves feel disrespected. Both benches cleared and engaged in an altercation that had to be broken up.

This is not Bautista’s first time in the news for bad sportsmanship. Many players and fans like Daniel Lacey do not like Bautista because of his lack of sportsmanship.

“It seems like whenever there is something controversial going on in baseball Bautista is normally involved because of his antics,” said Lacey.

One well-known incident of bad sportsmanship was in 1997 when boxer Mike Tyson bit off the ear of opponent Evander Holyfield. This was in their rematch fight after Holyfield took the heavyweight title from Tyson after an illegal headset was ruled an accident that took out Tyson.

Tyson was eventually disqualified and in a fit of rage tried to attack Holyfield. Tyson had to be escorted out of the ring for his actions.

This is a moment in sports that many fans like Tom Stewart won’t be able to forget because of how bizarre the act was.

“I sadly wasn’t able to watch it when it happened because I was too young but I have still been able to watch it and it absolutely blows my mind,” said Stewart.

An instance where athletes fight or argue benefits television ratings because of the drama but it also affects the sport and the game being played.

Tyson’s incident was great entertainment because viewers saw something they probably would never see again.

When fights suddenly break out, it delays the game and it takes some players out of the rhythm they were in. Players can be ejected, which changes the lineup and affects the coach’s ability to play the game to his own discretion.

This is why it is important for athletes to learn how to show good sportsmanship when they are young to avoid these problems in the future, which could lead to someone getting seriously hurt.

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