Why many of us have stopped watching sports

Tomgram: Robert Lipsyte, How the Worst Values of Sports Are Taking Over America

Say one thing about the world of sports: in some fashion, it invariably reflects developments in the larger world. It hardly matters whether the subject is war or inequalityTake a knee for a moment and think about that or, in the age of Donald Trump, think about the president whose bone spur problems have never stopped him from cheating at golf or promoting his golf clubs while in the White House — or, in fact, spending the odd day in the White House while he was promoting (and staying at) those golf clubs (and getting ferried from one “lock-her-up” rally to the next to denounce anyone on this planet taking a knee about more or less anything). 

If only we could say goodbye to all that! Fortunately, we have TomDispatch’s jock culture correspondent (and former New York Times sports reporter and columnist) Robert Lipsyte who knows a thing or two about both sports and saying goodbye to all that. Since, in this ever-changing age of ours, there can be little question that, with the help of a group of Washington “terrarists” — no, that’s not a misspelling — including The Donald, we are heading for a goodbye-to-all-that future, it’s none too soon to consider what Lipsyte calls the Jockpocalypse version of the same. Tom

From the Ballpark to Team Trump 
By Robert Lipsyte

A half-century ago, the sporting Cassandras predicted that the worst values and sensibilities of our increasingly corrupted civic society would eventually affect our sacred games: football would become a gladiatorial meat market, basketball a model of racism, college sports a paradigm of commercialization, and Olympic sports like swimming and gymnastics a hotbed of sexual predators.

Mission accomplished!

The Cassandras then forecast an even more perverse reversal: our games, now profaned, would further corrupt our civic life; winning would not be enough without domination; cheating would be justified as gamesmanship; extreme fandom would become violent tribalism; team loyalty would displace moral courage; and obedience to the coach would supplant democracy.

Okay, I think it’s time for a round of applause for those seers. Let’s hear it for Team Trump!

Even as those predictions were coming true over the past two years, as a longtime sports reportercolumnist, TV commentator,and jock culture correspondent for TomDispatch, I waited with a certain dread and expectation for the arrival of the true Jockpocalypse, the prophetic revelation that Jock Culture had indeed become The Culture. There would be three clear signs, I thought, of this American sports version of a biblical Armageddon.

Click here to read more of this dispatch.

About eslkevin

I am a peace educator who has taken time to teach and work in countries such as the USA, Germany, Japan, Nicaragua, Mexico, the UAE, Kuwait, Oman over the past 4 decades.
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