Have you ever asked yourself that question? Have you debated the value of sport in society with your friends? By this I mean more than how your favorite player is doing or how your fantasy team is stacking up. Think about it…seriously. I’ll wait.
As sports executives and professionals, we see a very different side of sport that most people will never know – the good, the bad, and the ugly – and we love every minute of it! Or do we? Do you love your job? Your experiences and opportunities? Are you thankful for what you’ve been given? Take a second to remind yourself how great it is to have a job in the first place, let alone in sport and athletics management.
Recently I was discussing with a co-worker how sport is a reflection of society as a whole; how the values of a culture are expressed in the way sporting events exist in a society. As a sociology and theology major in college with a heavy background in math and science, I’m just as interested in research data as I am in how the values, thoughts and feelings of people spread throughout society, and in this case, are reflected in how we engage in sport. This conversation reminded me of the struggle many groups have experienced over time, not just in America, but throughout the history of humankind, and how those struggles have been manifested in sport. Segregation. Discrimination. Dominance.
On the other hand, look at the positives of how sport brings people together. Teamwork of the players. Unity among fans. Players shaking hands after the competition. Emotional connections of people striving for excellence in physical and mental exertion against a worthy opponent. And numerous other reasons why sport is valuable to a society and to building and shaping a culture.
So what do YOU love about sport? Why do you watch? What does it do for you internally?