IELTS Reading – Sports : Amateur versus Professionals ,High Salaries of Sportsmen and Film starts, Effects of sports on learning , Equipment , Men and Women in Sports

  1. Amateurs versus professional sports persons

 

a professional athlete might be a dream for some sports enthusiasts and athletes, but it’s not always the best bet. Intense competition, a life on the road and grueling practice might take some of the fun out of enjoying a sport from an amateur standpoint. Although amateur and professional athletes have a few things in common, such as some shared skills and passion for their sport, the primary differences lies in the fact that for professionals, performance within a sport can make or break their careers.

 

Ready for Payday

 

Getting paid is the litmus test of professional versus amateur athletes. Not all pro athletes are millionaires, however. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual pay for professional athletes in 2010 was $43,740. In contrast, amateur athletes do not get paid for competing. They might receive perks related to participating in their league — for example, team gear or sponsored post-game dinners from local businesses — but they do not receive paychecks for playing.

 

Age Is Just a Number

 

In some cases, professional athletes might be older than amateur athletes because of rules established within sports organizations. For example, the NFL has rules in place barring young athletes from playing professionally directly after graduating high school; the idea is that they’ll protect their younger bodies from injury and have the chance to complete some higher education while continuing to develop their athletics chops in collegiate competitions. “The Sport Journal” states that some sports critics dispute this reasoning, though, saying that it allows amateur athletes to be exploited since they’re not being paid to play while in college. In some sports, younger athletes might opt to be home schooled and accept formal sponsorship in order to become professional earlier in their careers.

 

It’s a Grind

 

Amateur athletes might play baseball, tennis or volleyball just for fun, getting together on the weekend or after work for a pick-up game or to compete against other recreational teams. Professional athletes must frequently compete on weekends, evenings and holidays, depending on their competition schedule, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Time away from home can quickly accrue as pro athletes travel around the country, or around the world, during competition season.

 

Building the Body

 

Playing any sport involves some degree of risks, and some high-impact sports can be quite dangerous. Broken bones, concussions and other injuries create the potential for high medical bills and extended physical therapy. Some professional athletes might receive extensive medical benefits and insurance coverage as part of their contracts; other professionals or semi-pro athletes might receive travel money and contest fees but be expected to purchase their own health insurance. Amateur athletes who become injured will be personally liable for their injuries, covering medical costs of game-related injuries with their own coverage or paying out-of-pocket.

 

Another take on Professional versus Amateurs

 

Amateurs and Professionals

The aim of this lesson is to learn the differences between professional and amateur sports people (Equivalent to UK GCSE Physical Education)

 

Professionals get paid for playing their sport and for them it is their full-time job

 

Amateurs don’t get paid for playing, they do it when they are not working and because they enjoy it

 

Money is the basic difference between professionals and amateurs.

 

Most sports have both professional and amateur components, such as football (the premiership Vs Sunday league!) and Rugby. Some are classed as Open sports, which means both professionals and amateurs can compete together (e.g. golf) and other sports are completely amateur, such as Hockey, where as yet, no players are professional as there isn’t enough money available.

 

The history of professional and amateur sports people comes down to class. Usually professional athletes were from the lower classes because they competed for money, often bets! Amateurs tended to be those who didn’t need the money and could afford to play just for fun.

 

These attitudes towards professional sports people have changed over the years:

 

The Amateur Athletic Association was set-up in 1880 and no professional sport people were allowed to join.

 

Professional football was illegal until 1884

 

In 1895 rugby was split into League and Union, with Union remaining amateur.

 

Money from TV deals and sponsorship’s now means professional athletes can earn huge amounts of money

 

The Olympic games is probably the biggest example of changes in attitudes towards professionalism:

 

The Olympics used to only be for amateur athletes. Some athletes started getting paid secretly so that they could still compete at the Olympics. It became very difficult to know who was really an amateur so the IOC dropped the word amateur from the rule book

Governing bodies of each sport in each country, along with the IOC decide who can compete.

Professional sports people obviously have more time to train and more money available for equipment and the costs of competing. Some amateur sports people wanted to have these perks, without being classed as professional. There are several ways that people have tried to get around this:

 

Sponsorship’s – A company pays the athletes expenses (often much more than they actually spend) in return for the athlete wearing the companies name or logo on their shirt

 

Scholarships – Some colleges would offer places to talented athletes which allowed them a lot of time to train and to do very little study!

 

Trust Funds – Any prize money is paid into a trust fund from which the athlete can take living expenses (again more than they need) and have the rest when they retire

 

Gifts – Gifts from companies can be sold on to make money, rather than being given money as payment

 

Token Jobs – A talented athlete may be given a job so that they are classed as amateurs, however the job doesn’t involve much actual work and allows them plenty of time to train

Illegal payments – Athletes may be given money on the quiet!

 

Why Sportsmen and other Stars get paid so much

 

Not all athletes get paid in millions of dollars. High salaries are paid to only those who are part of extremely wealthy franchises of global fan followed sports like football, cricket etc. They are paid so much because of the fact that they produce billions in profits for the owners of the teams as well as for other businesses that rely on the team’s success. This is a multibillion dollar industry involving endorsements, media rights, fanfare etc. and the main players in this are the athletes who are rewarded with fat pay cheques in return for their contribution.

 

However, athletes of individual sports are not paid anything. They win the prize money. They don’t get paid weekly or monthly. And the prize money of the not so famous sports like wrestling, boxing etc. is nothing compared to what the others part of renowned leagues are paid. In fact, many of them are underpaid and that is a sad fact. Only those sports which are be converted into business ventures involves loads of money.

 

When doctors, teachers, engineers and physicists do their jobs in such an interesting and engaging way that others are willing to pay to watch them do it or emulate them in some way, then they’ll earn more money. What makes athletes, actors and public figures interesting?  Their talent and the scarcity of comparable talent is what provides leverage and adds value.

 

 

 

 

Take 2

 

The high earning sports stars we see are the survivors. The average sportsman and sportswoman makes no money from their short sporting career.

 

It is survivorship bias. How come entrepreneurs are so rich? There aren’t: many stop after the first or second bankruptcy. We never see or hear about the failures.

 

How come movie actors make so much money? They don’t most have to give up acting and get regular jobs.

 

The Bradys, Woods, Tendulkars, Gates, Zuckerbergs, Clooneys, Ronaldos, Zidanes, Jordans and Beckhams are the tip of the tip of the tip of the tip of the iceberg. They earn all the money but do not reflect the number of people who started out at the same time they did in their field. We think they represent their field, they only represent “the winners”.

 

Take 3

 

As an engineer, who doesn’t think particularly highly of Hollywood, I must say high salaries and payments are right and justified.

 

The reason is that Hollywood celebrities generally solve a far more pressing problem than most engineers ever do. Their products meet a far deeper rooted need than most engineers’ products do. I’d go even further, although this won’t sit well with many people: Their day-to-day work has far more impact than that of most engineers.

 

None of this is meant to discredit the work of any engineers. It’s just an objective, comparative answer, to a comparative question.

 

Hollywood celebs feed people’s never ending need for strong emotions. They solve the problem of providing meaning to daily life, to historic events, to baffling situations (ANY meaning, we eat it all up). They impact millions upon millions of people, sometimes entire generations – and they know how to do this repeatedly, with predictable results. Because of this, they deserve to be paid considerably higher than most engineers.

 

Take 4

 

Pro athletes are paid a lot of money because they are very skilled at a type of work where:

 

  1. A huge amount of revenue is generated.

 

  1. The quality of different workers’ output varies widely and can be measured fairly well.

 

  1. The marginal value of slightly more skilled workers is incredibly high, all the way up to the best few workers on Earth.

 

Because of 2 & 3, top players are in a position to win a big slice of total revenues. Because of 1, that slice adds up to a whole lot of money.

 

Professional sports obviously aren’t examples of traditional free markets at work, but they would have to be very crazy indeed for the top players not to make huge piles of money.

 

Importance of Equipment in Sports :

 

Sporting activities are a very popular fascination worldwide as there are many varieties people consider to indulge themselves in.

 

Some people are interested in football while others such as basketball. Some love the water and like swimming, while others wish to speed inside an auto racing car.

 

For enjoying football, you need a sports field and two goal blogposts. Individually you may need a pair of shoes and something and keep sweat off up your eyes as it drips out of your forehead. It is not really easy to indulge in any kind of sports activity if you don’t have the appropriate sports equipment. The better your current sports equipment is, better will be your game.

 

The first task to have a good having experience is to buy an equipment that is of good quality in terms of their strength and is portable. For instance, if the racket with which you enjoy badminton is not connected with appropriate weight your hand may not respond within the ideal fashion though playing the game. You may have to risk burning off your game. But when you hold the racquet before making a purchase and gauge as to what pounds and length accommodates your hand the most, it will be possible to take a good decision. Your decision at this point on time will go a long way to aid your actual recreation.

 

In a game, such as football, the goal keeper, for instance, would need equipment such as a helmet, glenohumeral joint pads and joint pads. You also need to think of the quality here too! For his own sake, the goal keeper needs to get a haircut before the game. Your helmet should be fitted the goal keeper correctly. The helmet really should be refitted if the hair style of the goal keeper is different. The front portion of the motorcycle helmet should just protect the pinnacle and not become a hindrance by covering the face including the eyebrows. This ear holes should additionally match up with gamblers ears. Move your helmet while the purpose keeper is wearing the item so that any displacement from the helmet can be amended before the game starts off.

 

Mouth guards are also considered another sports equipment that should be tested for cleaning and installation. They should be boiled to refit around the mouth of the gambler. Shoulder pads enable the goal keeper sufficient amount of mobility. The back and front on the shoulder pads will be able to cover the shoulder blades and pectorals respectively.

 

Some athletes should try and wear T-shirts that prevent event of rashes in addition to skin irritations due to rough straps. Nearly all sports equipments are generally of protective type. The primary and the protective equipment are equally important because when the game progresses gamers become quite hostile in an attempt to win the game. If these sports gear are not maintained the squad are bound to injure on their own.

 

 

Sports and Learning:

 

Take 1:

 

Whether children, teenagers, or adults – studies have consistently demonstrated that physically active people remain healthier and are able to perform better on tests of cerebral or intellectual ability. Some studies even indicate that the results are sharp and immediate – even a quick 5-minute walk can yield immediate results.

 

Most studies show that the more exercise one gets, the higher one’s mental faculties and cerebral performance. Yet, the picture is somewhat more complicated when it comes to college students who are also serious athletes. When these high-level athletes have to stay in shape, attend practices, travel to meets or games away from home, and still fulfill all the requirements of other college students, things can get tricky, and the measure of academic performance is no longer just a grade on a single exam.

 

While some college athletes experience difficulty balancing the responsibilities of their sport with the responsibilities of their academics, many student athletes actually find that the high degree of organization required to accomplish both leads them to be highly successful in both areas.

 

Scientific Correlation Between Physical Exercise and Achievement

 

In general, it has been scientifically demonstrated time and again that physical exercise is tightly correlated with mental acuity. A 2010 article in the Washington Post cited John J. Ratey, a Harvard University psychiatrist who synthesized volumes of research for his intriguing 2008 book Spark: The Revolutionary New Science of Exercise and the Brain. In his book, Ratey describes taking MRI scans of the brains of sedentary people who have suddenly improved their fitness – and increased volume in the hippocampus and frontal and temporal lobes, the regions of the brain associated with cognitive functioning. The hippocampus in particular is associated with memory and learning.

 

Moreover, a recent article of the BBC (British Broadcasting Corporation) cited a university study carried out on about 5,000 children and adolescents, which found links between exercise and exam success in English, mathematics and science and discovered an increase in performance for every extra 17 minutes’ boys exercised, and 12 minutes for girls.

 

The study was carried out by the universities of Strathclyde and Dundee, and found physical activity particularly beneficial to girls’ performance at science; the authors said this could be a chance finding or reflect gender differences in the impact of physical activity on the brain. Overall, though, children who carried out regular exercise, not only did better academically but also in their exams, the study suggested. Dr Josie Booth of Dundee University in the UK, one of the leaders of the British study, said: “Physical activity is more than just important for your physical health. There are other benefits and that is something that should be especially important to parents, policy-makers and people involved in education.”

 

In addition, a 2010 report published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services stated that across 50 studies undertaken on the subject of physical activity and academic performance, as reported in 43 separate academic articles, there were a total of 251 associations between physical activity and academic performance, which represented measures of academic achievement, academic behavior, and cognitive skills and attitudes.

 

In the studies examined by the CDC report, “increased time in physical education appears to have a positive relationship or no relationship with academic achievement. Increased time in physical education does not appear to have a negative relationship with academic achievement. Eleven of the 14 studies found one or more positive associations between school-based physical education and indicators of academic performance; the remaining three studies found no significant associations.”

 

It is important to note that most of the scientific literature on the link between sports or physical exercise and performance in specifically academic settings are in reference to children and adolescents. However, for people of all ages, the overall connection between keeping the body in shape and the brain in tip-top shape cannot be denied.

 

Take 2

 

Sport and physical activity participation are generally promoted for their positive impact on children’s physical and mental health. However, increased participation in sport and other forms of physical activity are also thought to lead to enhancement of cognitive functioning (information processing), memory, concentration, behaviour and academic achievement for children. The link between physical activity and academic achievement is of increasing interest in the  field of education and sport.

 

Unfortunately, with increasing pressure on schools to ensure children achieve academic success, and the new practise of publicised average grade comparison between schools, physical activity classes (such as physical education and sport) are increasingly being pushed

down the curriculum priority list. Of concern, it appears that time spent in physical activity during the school day is diminishing.

 

Removing or reducing physical activity classes from the school day may be detrimental to children’s physical and mental health as research indicates that school day physical activity is associated with total daily physical activity. The vast majority of research indicates that replacing academic learning sessions with physical activity does not have a detrimental impact on school grades; indeed some intervention research indicates that increased participation in physical activity leads to enhanced learning and better grades.

 

Evidence also suggests that achieving a threshold amount of physical activity may be necessary to acquire learning benefits and that participation in vigorous physical activity may further enhance learning.

 

Evidence indicates that physical activity enhances children’s cognitive functioning, concentration and on-task behaviour. Intervention research relating to the effects of physical activity on cognitive processing indicates that:

 

  • physical activity improves children’s concentration and attention.
  • physical activity leads to improvement in children’s cognitive control.
  • on-task behaviour was improved when children received 10-minute energiser sessions each day of the school week compared to a control group.
  • study groups receiving extra physical education from a trained specialist or specially trained generalist teacher had advantage over control groups in teacher ratings of classroom behaviour.

 

 

Men Versus women in sports :

 

by Scott Yenor

 

Despite current efforts to level the playing field between men and women in every area, the differences between men’s and women’s professional and collegiate sports make clear that some inequalities are unavoidable. With strength and speed as the factors governing success, men’s athletics will always be more popular.

 

Sports are a salutary pastime for Americans especially because they emphasize perseverance, responsibility, hard work, and other attributes of excellent character. Sports also build an approach to teamwork and produce great self-overcoming and some self-knowledge when participants run up against their limits. Sports produce great joys as people overcome obstacles and strive for the level of excellence appropriate to them, just as they produce healthy agonies as people face defeat. It is salutary in many respects that women enter the sporting realm in greater numbers than they did in the past so that these lessons pervade American society.

 

And yet, when it comes to the most competitive levels of athletics, there seems to be a tension. Nowadays most Americans insist on equality between the sexes in all things, yet this insistence becomes murky when it comes to sports: We also thirst for athletic excellence, which is more commonly found in men. Can equality between men and women actually exist when it comes to sports?

 

Some scholars see male athletic excellence as a vestige of patriarchy. Eileen McConagh and Laura Pappano, authors of the 2009 book Playing with the Boys: Why Separate is not Equal in Sports, argue that segregation in sports is based on the false assumption that women and girls are unable to compete with men and boys. This segregation, they argue, perpetuates social inferiority.

 

Sports in our culture actively construct and reinforce stereotypes about sex differences, they argue. And the dozens of inspiring feminist examples of girls successfully competing in hockey, football or golf seem to show that girls can do anything that guys do. Much of our government policy and popular culture adheres to the principle of equality, so that girls are expected to compete on a level comparable to boys.

 

But these social trends run up against certain limits. Research, history, and plain common sense show that men are consistently superior to women in the realm of sports. Given this reality, the pursuit of athletic equality may be a fool’s errand.

 

Market Force and Equality

 

Although women’s athletics have slowly gained some modest popularity in recent years, owners and fans never quite treat them equally. Pay between the NBA and the WNBA is uneven. The NBA players may seek to promote equality through their television ads, but they do not demand that their sisters in the WNBA receive “equal pay for equal work.” Equal pay would require a substantial pay cut for the NBA players. Further, the pursuit of equality has not led to a demand that WNBA players play with the same size ball as NBA players or have the same three-point line. On the college level, these differences have caused the Department of Education and the Justice Department to get involved, as complaints about inequality in college athletics have been filed and investigated at increasing rates during the Obama administration.

 

Then there is the matter of viewer interest. Far fewer people watch women’s college basketball in person and on television. According to the NCAA, the average attendance for women’s basketball games at the Division I level was 1,517 per game in 2015; South Carolina led Division I in attendance with just over 12,000 fans per home game. Division I men’s basketball teams averaged three times more than women’s games with over 4,700 fans per game; the South Carolina women’s team would have finished twenty-ninth in the men’s game in attendance. Three men’s teams finished averaging over 20,000 fans per home game (Syracuse, Kentucky, and Louisville). The NCAA tournament attendance average for women was 5,708, while the men’s tournament averaged 20,550 per session.

 

Do the dictates of equality demand the Carrier Dome be opened for Syracuse women’s basketball team? Or does equality demand a smaller arena so that they can have the same experience of playing in a gym filled to capacity?

 

Market forces require that women’s athletics have different venues and facilities, just as the WNBA gets unequal pay. Fewer people watch or attend; the sports generate less revenue, and the WNBA is somewhat dependent on subsidies from the NBA. It makes sense that there should be some relationship between revenue and facilities.

 

Difference and Equality in Athletics

 

It is difficult to make an apples-to-apples comparison between men’s and women’s sports. We have different leagues for women in athletics, though the powers that be would never accept “different leagues” for women in academics and other ventures. We don’t have men’s debate and women’s debate, but we have men’s golf and women’s golf. Why do we allow separation between the sexes in sports?

 

We seem to be at the point where women, at the highest levels, receive the same quality training as men at the highest levels. We can test the Playing with the Boys assumptions with good hard data.

 

A controlled experiment about sex differences in athletics can be conducted in track and field. Women and men run 100 meters and jump the high jump. World-class women’s Olympic athletes and world record holders presumably receive training equal to that of male Olympic athletes, and they receive better training for a longer period of time than high school or college athletes.

 

Comparing women’s world records in track and field with the 2015 winners of Division III men’s athletics and Louisiana’s high school track and field champions yields interesting results.

 

Event   Women’s World Record Holder 2015 Men’s Division III champion         2015 Louisiana Boys High School Champion

100 m  10.49   10.24   10.91

200 m  21.34   21.06   22.07

400 m  47.60   47.07   48.98

800 m  1:53.28            1:52.57            2:01.12

1500 m 3:50.46            3:49.64            —

High Jump        2.09 m 2.14 m 1.82 m

Pole Vault        5.06 m 5.34 m 4.11 m

Long Jump       7.52 m 7.47 m 6.55 m

Triple Jump      15.50 m           15.52 m           13.51 m

 

 

Only in the long jump do women’s world record holders beat the men’s NCAA Division III champion from 2015, although women’s world record holders would win every event in the Louisiana boys’ high school meet. Louisiana is the 25th state in terms of population. The 2015 California boys’ champions beat the women’s world record in several events, however.

 

When looking at the field events, the difference narrows due to the special advantages given to women.

 

Event   Women’s World Record Holder 2015 Men’s Division III champion         2015 Louisiana Boys High School Champion

Shot Put          22.63 m           18.73 m           17.38 m

Javelin Throw   72.28 m           67.50 m           50.64 m

Discus Throw    76.80 m           56.90 m           52.47 m

 

 

The results reflect the fact that women use lighter weights of shot, javelins, and discuses. Women’s Olympic shot are 4 kilograms (8.8 pounds), while men’s shot are over 7 kilograms (16.01 lbs.). Men’s discuses are 22 centimeters in diameter and 1.75 kilograms; women use a discus with an 18-centimeter diameter that weighs 1 kilogram. Men’s javelins must weigh 800 grams and be 2.6 meters long, while women must throw 600-gram javelins that are 2.2 meters long. Moreover, the Russian and East German record holders in the shot put and the discus throw broke the record in the late 1980s—before robust steroid testing.

 

What does equality demand? Should equality advocates demand the use of men’s field equipment? Should the Justice Department investigate such discriminatory practices? Or should such discrimination be lauded as necessary to achieve greater equality?

 

The Implications of Physical Difference for Other Sports

 

The physical difference detected in track and field permeates all sports, most measurably in golf and basketball where we can conduct comparisons.

 

Golf courses for the PGA Tour are 7,200 yards long on average; LPGA courses average 6,500 yards. Consider the 2014 US Opens, when both the Men’s and Women’s Open were held at Pinehurst No. 2 course in North Carolina. Presumably the fairways and the greens were quite similar, though some variation from the weather and wear on the course may have factored into the scores. The women’s course played 6,600 yards long; the men’s at 7,500 yards. The women’s winner was Michelle Wie at -2 (the cut was +9), while Martin Kaymer shot -9 to win the men’s event (where the cut was +5).

 

Generally, driving distance favors men, but driving accuracy favors women by substantial margins.

 

Driving Distance (2015) PGA     LPGA

1st       317.7 (Dustin Johnson)            274.20 (Joanna Klatter)

50th     295.10 (Hunter Mahan)            252.35 (Syndee Michaels)

100th   289.20 (Ryo Ishikawa)  244.48 (Laura Diaz)

145th   283.1 (Danny Lee)       229.86 (Steph. Meadow)

 

 

Putting is a fine skill and seems to be a great equalizer, though even in putting, differences between the sexes are perceptible. The 50th place male golfer would have finished second on the LPGA in putting. The LPGA’s best putter would have finished 24th on the PGA tour.

 

Total Putts per round (2015 rank)         PGA     LPGA

1st       27.82 (Jordan Speith)  28.50 (Julie Yang)

50th     28.72 (Fabian Gomez) 29.84 (Suzann Pettersen)

100th   29.10 (Brooks Koepka) 30.40 (Mariaji Uribe)

145th   29.51 (Andrew Svoboda)         31.57 (Karin Sjodia)

 

 

Free throw shooting is roughly equivalent in the men’s game and the women’s game. Some of this is due to the fact that the women’s ball has a one-inch smaller circumference than the men’s basketball. Women (perhaps because of the smaller ball) shoot free throws at roughly the same rate as men. Let us examine this by team ranking in Division I basketball.

 

Rank in FT Percentage NCAA Division I

(Men’s)

 

NCAA Division I

(Women’s)

 

1st       78.4%  80.5

50th     73.4     73.5

100th   71.8     71.8

200th   69        68.3

300th   65.9     64.1

 

 

In three-point field goal percentage, there is a difference between the sexes though they shoot from the same line.

 

Rank in 3 Pt. Percentage         NCAA Division I

(Men’s)

 

NCAA Division I

(Women’s)

 

1st       43.6% (Okla.)   41.9 (Oregon)

50th     37.1 (Chatt.)     34.5 (SD St.)

100th   36.2 (Louis)      32.7 (Furman)

200th   34.1 (Va. Tech)            30.5 (Presb)

300th   31.3 (Lamar)    27.2 (LSU)

 

 

Perhaps women shoot a lower percentage because the defense in women’s basketball is superior to the defense in men’s basketball. Perhaps this is a lingering effect of millennia of patriarchy. Perhaps the girls can be taught to do it better. Perhaps men at the highest levels practice more than women at the highest levels.

 

Perhaps there are differences in the strength, stamina, agility, and speed of the two sexes.

 

Sports and the Pursuit of Excellence

 

Inequality of intelligence, Tocqueville writes, will always be with us. With apologies to Aristophanes, inequalities traceable to physical beauty and age are also hallmarks of human life. Such inequalities need not affect the principle of equal treatment and they add flavor to life.

 

Much the same can be said of sports. Sports are a vestige of the age of inequality. We celebrate and recognize excellence. We can identify the winners. We admire them for their excellence.

 

Teams with too much success—the Dukes, the Alabamas, the New England Patriots, the New York Yankees—are subject to a resentful, envious hatred. “Let someone else win” is a most democratic sentiment. Yet when these traditional powers play, we watch. Excellence fascinates us, and it brings out excellence in others. Nothing very important hangs on whether one team wins or another. We argue about it at the water cooler because, even in our democratic age, human beings admire excellence. Sports scream: “Some playing fields can’t be leveled. Some competitors are better than others!”

 

In this, sports speak the truth. There is no fine line between athletic accomplishments for women and men. Men are generally bigger, stronger, and faster. Where strength and speed and agility are the factors determining success, human beings watch men’s sports.

 

Sports bring out some of the differences between the sexes. Sports are valuable ballast in the American democratic regime. Would that we could acknowledge differences and celebrate them instead of burying them under a mountain of false hopes. Would that we could allow reality to govern our thoughts as they do our actions.

 

A sensible approach to equality in sports would be to acknowledge differences between men and women. Men are more interested in sports than women. Men are better at sports than women. We acknowledge the second reality through the very existence of women’s sports. We acknowledge the first reality in how we act.

 

 

 

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