Athlete’s owe us squat!

Today, voluntary media mute Darius Boyd walked past a channel 10 news crew, brushing past them with the arrogance of a year 12 student trudging through the infants playground. Unsurprisingly, people blew up at Boyd’s perceived rudeness, labelling him a “dickhead” and calling him “ungrateful”.

Let me start by saying that I’m no real Boyd fan. But neither am I a fan of the media or the way they operate.

Athletes are (in most cases) exceptional competitors in an area usually requiring an elite level of physical ability the rest of us (the ordinary folk) can only dream about, whether that be to run like a Bolt or Dazzle like a Warne, Leap like a Jordan or swing like a Woods.

It is the admiration and understanding of exceptional talent which drives “normal” folk to pay attention and watch a skill performed at a higher level to which they themselves could not do. It is human nature to admire and it is human nature to seek out the source of the admiration. Why? Because viewing coveted skills unfold before our eyes provides people with inspiration, drive and above all pleasure.

Athletes, are first and foremost, exceptional due to their talent. Personality, marketability and looks are secondary bye products which may one day become features in their own right, but are yet still grounded and underpinned by the athlete firstly qualifying as…. well…an athlete.

So since an athlete often gets to an elite level in his or her chosen competition by firstly: a) having the talent and drive to get there, and b) is often selected by higher authorities and is therefore a wanted commodity. Should the people (us) who seek out the viewing of skilled athleticism and high level competition demand that these athletes have an obligation to make free their time in order to satisfy the fiscal positions of a ravanous institution (the media) who feed the unquenchable cravings of sports hungry fans? Do the fans “own” athletes? Was it the fans who gave the athlete his or her gifts?
The answer to all these questions is a slam dunk in the ring for NO!

In no way should an athlete be obliged to answer questions or make time for journalists and their organisations. Is Joe Blow from the pub obliged to answer questions from a pack of 17 year olds dying to know what a beer tastes like? No, of course not. Yet both are examples of one group coveting the ability and activities of another and the yearning to understand something of which they are not a part of.

Now I know there will be some who will say “but without the fans athletes don’t have an income”. To this I would reply that competition would not exist without the desire to win and to out perform your rival. Elite Athleticism and physical excellence are reached due to this principle and are not reached as a result of awed onlookers. In other words, an athlete’s skills and competitive desires were not gifts given to him or her by the fans.

So to all the sports men and women who wish to decline the spotlight thrown on them, and who wish to remain silent while they compete in their chosen activity I say kudos. We are simply here to watch you play, marvel at your skill and admire your competitiveness. For what it’s worth, you owe us normal folk….squat.

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2 Comments

  1. Firstly, let me say that it is outstanding to see Mr Brown back on line. The site has missed your presence good sir!

    I certainly enjoyed this read. Being one of the ravenous fans who reasonably demands 23 hours and 50 minutes of an athlete’s day, I was refreshed by the alternative point of view.

    Unfortunately, my ethics prevent me from respecting Darius Boyd in any way whatsoever.

    Reply

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Dane Eldridge Tries Hard

Contemporary rugby league surrealism and hot takes on Shane Warne

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