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Cincinnati versus Xavier brawl; “Disrespect”

Posted by Steve Bzomowski on December 11, 2011

Whenever I hear an athlete say the word “disrespect”, as in “he disrespected me”, I think two things: 1) the speaker does not respect himself enough not to care what someone who is obviously a moron is saying about him and 2) whatever the situation is, it probably isn’t going to turn out well for anyone involved. And so it was with yesterdays Cincinnati versus Xavier game-turned-into-brawl.

Of course the media plays a role in inflaming passions, goading players to regretful, violent responses (“This one is truly a backyard brawl.“). But the media would follow the lead of those who administer the games. Schools, athletic departments and conferences, team owners and presidents (in the pros), and coaches can punish, threaten, and suspend players for behavior but isn’t something else required? Some communication, education, mentoring that teaches that responding to the “disrespect” provocation can be and should be beneath one’s dignity? Sport is about competition and achieving potential; the greatest potential in this case, the winner in the contest of respect and disrespect, is the player who separates himself from the taunt and focuses on and plays the game. To respond to the taunt is to betray yourself as maybe believing the taunter. Would Bird, Magic, Jordan have cried about disrespect? No, they’d just drop forty on them and hold a press conference afterward and say he knew his rival didn’t mean it.

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