Wimps! Wimps I say!

As I have shared before, I am a fan of the Cleveland sports teams. That includes the Indians, who had an excellent weekend sweeping the Kansas City Royals during their first home stand of the season. There were also some theatrics on Saturday night that got me riled up about the state of sports and what that says about us as a country.

Top of the 3rd inning, Shin-Soo Choo of the Indians gets hit by a pitch. Choo yells at the pitcher, people meander out of the dugouts, lots of yelling and jawing at one another. Warnings are issued by the umpires (we’ll revisit this in a moment). Bottom of the 3rd inning, Indians pitcher Gomez drills Moustakas from the Royals, benches clear. Jack Hannahan of the Indians lets all the Royals know how he feels about all of this. End result: Gomez, Hannahan, Manager Manny Acta tossed from the Indians.

Seems like a fairly routine set of baseball interactions when someone gets hit by a pitch that may have been not really on purpose, but certainly didn’t upset the pitcher who hit someone, right? That’s exactly the problem. The whole issue I have is that the warning by the umpires always comes as soon as someone gets hit and tempers flare. The umpires tell the adult men, “You’d better behave or we’ll punish you!” Personally, I think the adults can handle it themselves.

Yes, in this particular instance, “Handle it themselves” means someone from the other team gets drilled with a baseball at 90 MPH. I don’t actually see a problem with this. It would have been handled, and if at that point, the umpires want to let everyone know that it should be over and they wont stand for anymore shenanigans, so be it.

As has become the norm for violence in all sports, only the guy who retaliates gets punished. Where’s the problem? You might say, of course he should be punished, retaliation should always be punished. WRONG!

Especially in sports, where people are talented and passionate, and emotions run high, people ought to be able to handle their business on the field/court by themselves. Anyone gets hit by a pitch in baseball, warnings and the next guy who hits someone purposefully or otherwise gets tossed. In football, people start shoving one another after a play, second guy gets flagged. Someone takes a cheap shot or late hit on your guy, you can’t say boo to the guy that did or you get flagged. In basketball, if a guy takes a cheap shot at your star player, you can’t so much as get in the guys face before technical fouls are handed out all around and the first one to complain about that gets a second tech and is thrown out of the game. Even in hockey, where they allow fighting and always have, referees are beginning to limit it to one fight a game, and they only allow a couple punches to be thrown before they step in.

Most people don’t see the issue with limiting the amount of blatant violence allowed in the middle of a sporting event. I’m here to tell you that limiting that reaction is causing us all to become wimps.

Lots of us are taught from the time that we’re little things like: No fighting, violence isn’t the answer, hitting people is wrong no matter what. The problem with that is that there is always someone who will take advantage of someone else who won’t fight back. That applies to people, animals, families, countries, and just about every other interaction that involves living things with instincts.

I’m not saying people should be ready and willing to jump up and fight over every little slight that they might experience. It truly is more admirable to be able to say, “I don’t need to retaliate to this, because I am alright.” If someone never fights back though, someone else is bound to notice and find a way to use this to their benefit.

We are finding ways to try to show everyone, all the time, that fighting back is wrong. You should always “Be the bigger person and walk away.” In an ideal world, yes you should. Our world is far from ideal.

What we should be teaching is how to tell the difference to a minor insult or slight, and an attack on someone/something you believe in/care about.

This is one of those things that categorically sounds like a good thing to teach people. To not retaliate or escalate a situation, but I bet each and every person could think of something that they feel is too much to resist fighting back for or about in a split second.

To me that’s just further proof that somethings really are worth fighting for, and knowing the difference is something we should be learning.

Wanna tell me I’m an idiot? That I should be the King of the World? Comments are at the bottom.


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