Jay Weiner’s article reflects the problems that sports faces nowadays. Being veracious and truthful, his claims address the problem that people themselves have created. It is important to realize that the nature of sports has changed due to the shifts at the societal level. The article dwells upon the steps that the public can do in order to take back the true meaning of sports. However, the crucial aspect of Weiner’s article consists of the assumption that the nature of sports fully mirrors people’s attitudes, desires and aspirations, thus manifesting itself in the deterioration. Seemingly, the author considers the public to be accountable for the root of the underlying problem. Thus, it is reasonable to conjecture that sports issues are the mirror of people’s minds and actions that exert deleterious effects on sports in general.
Firstly and most importantly, it is reasonable to define the role of sports in the life of ordinary people. The perception of a game that is performed at a high level ensures public spirit. According to Spaaij, “Sport is also believed to be an educative context capable of facilitating the development of positive social values, life skills and pro-social behaviour among young people” (p. 9). Undoubtedly, this statement can be supported by the idea that the meaning of sports includes the desired effects of exerting a positive influence on people in general. However, one should admit that sports feeds on communities’ engagement and entirely depends upon public’s actions and moods. Their relation is obvious and the problems that are faced by sports should be treated taking into account public conduct.
The institution of sports can be marked with numerous disadvantages that Weiner shows in his article. Specifically, they are determined by the changes for worse in public opinions. The author states: “It may be discomfiting, but it’s true: The power of sports and sports heroes to mirror our own aspirations have also contributed to the sorry state of the institution today” (Weiner n.p.). I agree with this point of view and deem it wise to reflect upon the reasons why the author refers to the “sorry state”.
Among the main triggers that affect the deteriorating state of sports as an institution, one may find the public’s role in the underlying issue. Evidently, the public spirit has worsened. In the article, the author puts an emphasis on the fans and audience: “The corporate betrayal of the fan is as traditional as the seventh-inning stretch” (Weiner n.p.). Seemingly, such a betrayal reflects the state of the today’s sportsmen and consists of the refusals to support the teams that do not have any prospects. Apparently, one may notice the reciprocal connection between the team and the fans. I believe that the fans’ expectations for victory affect the game itself. Thus, if the public is passive, the game will be passive as well. It is paramount to conjecture that, nowadays, sports cannot be marked with the meaning it used to have long ago.
Interestingly, apart from the interrelation that exists at the level of fans and sportsmen, it is worth mentioning “the generation of fitness consumers” (Weiner n.p.). Owing to these particular generations of people, one can pay attention to the assumption that sports no longer addresses its main objectives to influence public spirit. The sports system is rather neglected and badly in need of some positive changes that may improve the situation. As the engagement of the community is crucial in sports, something should be done in order to fix all the existing problems.
In the context of sports internal peculiarities that concern the team players, it ought to be admitted that the levels of payments are frightening the public. Scoring the goal triggers the huge amount of payment that converts sports into business and the matter of financial issue. According to Weiner, “their astronomical salaries—deserved or not—alienate us from the games” (n.p.). These forms of alienation prove the relation between sports representatives and the audience. Inaccessibility of sports also contributes to this matter. It relates to the fees that fans should pay in order to watch the games. In this case, one may see the ambivalent process of impact. Sports influences people’s decisions and attitude, while people’s behavior and expectations influence the atmosphere of the game. A tipping point in Weiner’s article concerns the author’s critical evaluation of the today’s sports:
- Sports is distant. It reeks of greed. Its politics glorify not the majestic drama of pure competition, but a drunken, gambling masculinity epitomized by sports-talk radio, a venue for obnoxious boys on car phones. (n.p.)
- Not surprisingly, the two sides of the matter fail to support each other. People’s attitudes correspond to the devastating atmosphere. In fact, sport is becoming distant, thus reflecting people’s own aspirations.
Bearing in mind the previous points, I approve Weiner’s concerns about sports and the public influence on its institution. It is obvious that the ambivalent connection between sports and public opinion proves Weiner’s assumption concerning the simple truth that today’s state of sports is a reflection of people’s attitudes. It is worth mentioning that sports has become distant because of the financial aspect of this matter. The public should necessarily treat the problems so that sports institution could recall its previous meaning in the eyes of the fans. However, the so-called “rehabilitation process” ought to address the sports institution in general along with the public’s actions that tend to affect the atmosphere of sports and its meaning.