Saturday, August 25, 2012

The toppling of sports idols

Lance Armstrong 2010, wikimedia commons.

Our capitalistic culture elevates the values of competition over those offered by cooperation. We’ve long accorded celebrity status to leading sports figures, giving them million dollar salaries while our teachers, nurses, firefighters, and police officers oftentimes struggle to make ends meet. So, how did it happen that football coaches, baseball greats, and bicyclists are held up as heroes and role models for our children; whereas, those who are dedicated to peaceful pursuits are relegated to a lower level?

The year 2012 may go down in history as the era of revealing the flawed characters of our athletic idols. In a column titled, Lance Armstrong, the hero deficit, and the unhappening, the Washington Post’s Alexandra Petri explores the meaning of the several exposés that have occurred recently in the world of sports:

The yellow wristbands were everywhere, not long ago. You could not walk down the street or turn on the TV without several glimpses of charitable rubber hanging out at someone’s cuff. Livestrong. If Lance Armstrong could battle cancer and win seven 

Tours de France, we had no excuses.

Well, Lance Armstrong’s seven Tour de France titles are no more. So we have all sorts of excuses. 

So why don’t I feel better?

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