Sportsmanship plays major role in sports

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Sportsmanship plays major role in sports

Maxwell W. '20, Writer

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On Oct. 5 under the bright lights at Olentangy Orange High School (OOHS), a selfish mistake was made. After the Braves football team defeated rival OOHS with a score of 35-34, people in the stands and student section lost control of themselves. As both teams were giving high fives to each other, one person removed himself from the group. This person was Mitchell G. ’20.  He left the area, went over to OOHS’s victory bell and rang it in front of the OOHS sideline and student section. They responded by booing Mitchell G. for his outlandish behavior. He was suspended from school for three days, and is not participating in the Braves’ final three games of the season. However, this incident from Mitchell G. is not the only example of bad sportsmanship, as it happens everywhere in sports.

“I think Mitchell G. should be suspended for the rest of the season. His behavior is an example of bad sportsmanship,” Cameron M. ’22 said.

Athletes tend to showcase negative sportsmanship more than positive sportsmanship. They choose to put violence and less gratitude above a handshake or a simple “good game.” Some examples of this are a foul in soccer, a fight in hockey or a brawl breaking out in football.

On Sept. 9, 2017, former Oklahoma University (OU) Quarterback Baker Mayfield planted the OU flag in the center of Ohio Stadium after they beat The Ohio State University (OSU) 31-16. OSU spectators despised Mayfield after this incident, and predicted it would hurt his draft potential. Mayfield did something similar against the University of Kansas when he refused to shake the opposing team’s hands during the coin toss. Now, Mayfield is the starting quarterback for the Cleveland Browns after Tyrod Taylor suffered a dislocated pinky finger. This shows that the Browns organization cares more about Mayfield being the starting quarterback instead of his character and actions.

Another incident of bad sportsmanship occurred at the 2012 Summer Olympics held in London. During a basketball game between France and Spain, French player Nicolas Batum reached around Spanish player Juan Carlos Navarro and punched him in the groin. Batum apologized to the media for this incident and said he wants to move forward.

I wanted to give him a good reason to flop,” Batum said to ABC News in 2012.

These two stories mirror Mitchell G.’s act. However, Mitchell G’s incident is not national  news. It is only a big deal in the Olentangy Local School District (OLSD). The issue of sportsmanship should not be directed only at OHS and needs to be implemented into all schools.

“Mitchell G. did not represent OHS respectively when he rang OOHS’ bell. He was not being a true leader to the OHS football team and gave no commitment and respect to the other team,” Dean of Students Brad Henry said.

Some students believe what Mitchell G. did was fine, and he should not be punished too harshly for his actions. They said they think he responded like any high schooler would.

“In my opinion, his punishment was to harsh and unjust,” Cade C. ’20 said.

In the end, Mitchell G. felt remorse for what he did, proving any athlete who makes a mistake can find redemption. Every athlete should take time to apologize and reflect on their negative actions, just as he did.

“I regret what I did. I feel that I let the team down. I thought since Orange rang our bell last year at OHS stadium, I should bring back the favor and ring theirs,” Mitchell G. said.

Sportsmanship is important. Having a gracious heart and being respectful to others’ property is essential. What Mitchell G. did after a hard fought game is atrocious and disrespectful to the OLSD community.