Regarding the controversial referee call during the NFL game between the Green Bay Packers and the Seattle Seahawks and the AP article "NFL upholds Seahawks disputed win over Packers", September 25, 2012:
I think it disgraceful that the NFL has chosen to agree with the replacement referees blatantly wrong decision which directly cost the Green Bay Packers their game with the Seattle Seahawks. This is sadly typical of what sports has become today.
Historically, sports was considered to be a virtue-making machine. The values that correspond with sports were considered to go hand in hand with those that go into being a person of integrity and faith. Today, however, sports is increasingly associated with violence, drugs, sex, racism, cheating and money. Athletes are worshiped today for the money they make, for their on-field violence, for their off-field partying, for their egos and bravado that includes fighting, celebratory dances, strutting and posturing.
Technical and athletic aspects of certain sports have given way to steroid physiques, tattoos and various forms of intimidation. At one time only sailors and bikers wore tattoos. Today footballers have helped bring these crude images of a decadent society into the mainstream. Our media helps promote and legitimize this mentality by glorifying athletic fighting and violence in a colourful and entertaining way. Vince Lombardi, former coach of the Super Bowl winning Green Bay Packers football team, spoke for a generation when he said "winning isn't everything; its the only thing".
Sports should be a vehicle to develop good character, to make people courageous, loyal, generous losers, and gracious victors. We have to recover these original principles of sports so that we can work together to forge greater bonds between people and help overcome the real and terrible social problems of our time.
Paul Kokoski, Hamilton, Ontario. Canada