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Strike Three
by J. Thomas Lowry
15 October 2003

"The Battle of Waterloo was won on the playing fields of Eton." -Wellington.

The recent brawl between the Yankees and the Red Sox brings to mind the absurdity that a young man or woman who works hard through high school must borrow money to attend college, while those who have a keen interest in sports are given a free ride.


The world of sports is often referred to as the fields where future leaders are born. If this is indeed true, then we can expect our future leaders to rape, steal, and otherwise plunder whomever they wish. Wellington was talking about the field of sport where sportsmanship was key to learning. The recent brawl at a New York Yankee’s and Boston Red Sox playoff game is but the latest, though mild, violent outburst that now marks the playing fields as soil where violence is grown. It is mild only because when taken into context with other sporting abuses, the brawl seems innocent, a sad commentary.

WIVB in upstate New York reported on an incident whereby soccer teammates held down one youngster while one assaulted him. In the same article, there is a report of young athletes denigrating young women by pouring animal entrails and urine all over them. It is astonishing that these are high school students, not the power hungry athletes who roam the sidelines and the dugouts of major league sports.

In the English Premier League, a professional soccer league, one young woman was gang raped by seven young men. This alleviates any concern that this is an American phenomenon. These young men feel power because they are treated as if they were royalty. In fact, one can say that the sports themselves create these monsters in order to make a fistful of dollars.

It is difficult to talk about the National Football League without running up against a drug problem, violence off the field, and actions that would land most in jail for quite a while. It is the same with the NBA, or Major League Baseball. Yet, college athletes, who go from high school students to groping, sexual deviants who think that their abilities give them room to do as they please, show the most alarming show of contempt. They act as if nothing is out of bounds. The administrators and coaches act likewise.

America's cultural and moral elite seem willing to stand by for this for the sake of good sport. More than one young man is excused because he has talent that helps a wealthy alumni’s school do just a bit better. Academics have assumed a second or third place at the table because large money driven sports are more important to leftists who run the universities.

Thus, a young man or woman who works hard through high school has to borrow money while another young man is given a free ride because he can run the 40 in 4.3 seconds. Where is the sense in this or better, where are right thinking people on this subject?

Consider. Conservatives often feel that violence is due to a moral vacuum. This is quite plausible because sports are now mimicking society, and society is ever more causal about morals, and thus, violence. That each of the youngsters who are the victims of these sexual assaults, domestic violence, or beatings, is someone’s daughter, or son makes each act a condemnation of any system that allows the perpetrators to remain, even staunchly defended, by universities.

It must be clear that this is not a condemnation of everyone who steps onto an athletic field, nor does it suffice to say that every college in the land is warped by a lack of morals, though some may state just that in any case. Rather, it is the violent, power hungry society, without order, that plants the seed that sports is more than just a sideshow in life. It is a sign of our times, and the madness about sports, that when someone wins the NCAA Football Championship, it is accompanied by rioting. Now, more than ever, a secure grip is needed in our high schools and colleges to reverse the importance of sports, to place them back in line, far below academics. To ignore this present problem will only lead to further damage.

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