Did you know that today in 1992, the National Hockey League Players began their first strike after 75 years in the league?
We all enjoy watching our team win. If we play the sport that we watch (I have only tried playing on a hockey table game. Do you play hockey for leisure?) then we recognize how much hard work, discipline, and sacrifice is put in that single game. However, professional sports have gone a long way from just playing for the game. As it is, they are called “professional sports” because the players are payed for their performance – being an athlete has become their “profession.”
Shouldn’t Professional Athletes be Paid for their Skills and Talent?
We can argue that these players deserve to be paid because of their talent, skill, and dedication. But sometimes, this incentive becomes the motivation for the players’ whining.
Throughout the years in sports, teams and even individual athletes threaten not to play unless their demands were met – and these demands usually involves (getting more) money. Labor unions got involved and by forming player associations such as MLB, NBA, NFL, and the NHL, these athletes have been having more ‘power’ to demand their wants. This results in what we know as either a strike by the players or a ‘lockout’ by the owners.
The 1992 NHL strike lasted for 10 days and ended with unresolved issues. 2 years later, NHL had a worse lockout which reduced the games from 84 to 48.
Why do Professional Athletes Hold Strikes and Lockouts?
It all usually boils down to money but issues such as playing conditions, benefits and feeling that the owners are unfair are also common reasons for staging these strikes. No matter what the reason may be, these whining and complaining costs lost games, discouraged fans, and even broken relationships between athletes and managers.
Athletes ought to play for the love of the game. They used to, and many still do. But some act like spoiled brats forgetting their fans and teammates and the contract they already signed to ask for new demands and opportunities. Athletes become self-centered and egoistic. They won’t ask for more money if they don’t think that they deserve to be paid more. In the American Hockey League (AHL), the minimum salary that a player can receive in 2012-2013 is $32,500. However, there is no maximum salary that they can earn.
What makes an Athlete a Winner?
No one likes a player who always complains and whines. Surely, being a whiner is not a characteristic of a winner. The character of athletes is seen in what he or she prioritizes. Yes, the discipline, hard work, and sacrifice that athletes give for their sport is priceless, but getting the rewards should not be the focus when playing sports. There are lots of values that can be learned through Sports. Children and Teens look up to their ‘sports idols‘ as an example.
Above is a link to a blog about what values that the youth can learn through organized sports. It listed discipline, hard work, sacrifice, dealing with success and failures, striving for goals, prioritization, and overcoming adversity. Another value that I think is very important but is usually neglected in the sports world today is “Humility.” All the praises and fame that a athletes can receive makes them forget how they should keep their feet on the ground. Unique skills are adored. Displayed brutal talent is admired. Humility is forgotten and sometimes thought to be for the losing ones.
Being humble doesn’t mean that we should not stick to what is right and fair even if the conditions are really bad. Humility is about thinking less of ourselves and honoring others in our team which includes our teammates, coaches, fans, and even managers. Ralph Sockman noted something worth remembering about Humility:
“True humility is intelligent self-respect which keeps us from thinking too highly or too meanly of ourselves.
It makes us modest by reminding us how far we have come short of what we can be.”
It is awesome to see how a player can do amazing stunts that others struggle to do, but it is more wonderful to see people go beyond their own comfort to make the life of others more meaningful. Only a humble person can do that. Only humble athletes can play in spite of hard opposition and difficult circumstances that put them down.
Do you feel like whining when things don’t go your way?
Do you quit easily when walk out when you get hurt or things seem unfair?
Be a winner, not a whiner!