No Such Thing as a Sports Outrage

This morning, I picked up the newspaper and read about the outrage regarding Saturday’s controversial boxing match that produced a split-decision victory for Tim Bradley over Manny Pacquiao.

The article suggested that the angst was centered on the fact that ringside judges do not have the same information as viewers who watched the pay-per-view telecast. Other reporters have called for investigations to look into the corruption in the sport.

Call me skeptical, but I have a hard time being outraged over the results of a sporting event. I have an even harder time believing that some injustice was committed against Pacquiao. He still earned a hefty paycheck for the 12-round decision and will likely receive a return bout against Bradley in the near future. Pacquiao is not hurting for athletic acclaim, money, or attention.

In our sports-obsessed culture, we have an improper understanding of what true outrage is and, for that matter, what a true injustice is. Nothing that happened in the Pacquiao-Bradley match is worthy of being labeled an injustice. Even more, nothing that happened in that bout is cause for an outrage.

There are bigger issues in our world that should cause our blood to boil. There are real injustices in the world that should bring us to our knees in prayer and cry out for help. None of those are in the world of sports. Yet, because sports receives the focus of our attention in America, we will focus on this injustice and call for reforms in a sport that hasn’t been relevant for 15 to 20 years.

So, what are true injustices and things worthy of our outrage? Allow me to mention just a few:

  • The fact that slavery still exists in our world, especially regarding prostitution.
  • Approximately 129 million children under the age of 5 in developing countries are underweight, because of poor nutrition.
  • The fact that every 60 seconds a child dies of malaria in Africa.
  • As Christians in Kentucky, the fact that only 17 percent of our population attends church on a regular basis. Kentucky’s population is 4.3 million.
  • The fact that racism, sexism, and agism are huge issues in our country, world, and churches.

Don’t get me wrong, I love a good sporting event, but there are more important things to be concerned about. I am passionate about the sports I follow, but I hope I reserve my outrage and feeling of injustice to those travesties in our world that truly deserve are concern and attention.

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2 thoughts on “No Such Thing as a Sports Outrage

  1. Shannon,

    Great post! Are we cheapening words like “outrage”? Or even worse, choosing all of the wrong things to get outraged over? I was driving home from Michigan on Monday after the fight, so I heard a full day of outrage. I’ll confess that I hadn’t thought about how outrageous it is that boxing matches are our biggest outrages. Thanks for your perspective.

    • Thanks, Teddy. What inspired the post was reading about the “outrage” in the Wall Street Journal. I expect “outrage” on ESPN and in the sports pages of the local newspaper, but picking the Journal picking it up was odd.

      We are choosing the wrong things to be outraged over. I think part of it is that we are “fed” what is given us and “told” how to respond to certain things. It would be great if we were outraged about the right things, but that will take paradigm shifts in the way we think.

      I pray that this will happen soon.

      Great seeing you today!

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