Advertisement
YOU ARE HERE: LAT HomeCollectionsAthletes

Character Building Not Done on the Field

March 21, 1992

The sports industry and the media are still at it, selling the public the easy virtue of athletes. They say we have lessons in courage and understanding to learn from their examples and their struggles with injury. It is time to abandon the myth, still promoted by athletic departments and columnists, that organized sports build character. Indeed a case can be made for the opposite--that sports, under present conditions, often build egocentricity, irresponsibility and divisiveness.

A columnist recently made the hazard of the career-ending injury a justification for the salaries paid professional athletes. There again the fans have been manipulated. The public will often blast a corporate CEO who makes a million or two a year or even a physician so imprudent as to divulge his annual earnings. Yet it seldom finds fault with the grossly overpaid utility infielder who can't hit his weight. When a prominent sports figure was recently convicted of rape, some columnists lamented the wreckage of his career, but few noted the anguish of his victim.

FRANCIS JOYCE

Solana Beach

Advertisement
Los Angeles Times Articles
|
|
|