Good Sportsmanship in Youth Baseball

Sportsmanship Tony Lombardi of the Russell Street Report posed a very interesting question. Is good sportsmanship eroding in America? He posed this particular question after former Baltimore Orioles starting pitcher Jeremy Guthrie wore a t-shirt that read “These O’s Ain’t Royal,” a play on words referencing a popular Chris Brown song. While his former team was down 0-3 in the American League Championship Series (ALCS), Guthrie chose to, as Lombardi put it, “rub salt in the wound by wearing that t-shirt.”

What bothered Lombardi more than anything else was his son’s reaction. He didn’t see anything wrong with the t-shirt. But it wasn’t just his son. Numerous individuals – most of them in their 20’s – saw nothing wrong with Guthrie’s actions.

“Where has sportsmanship gone?” asked Lombardi. “What happened to winning with class?”

Good Sportsmanship in Youth Baseball

The problem: trash talking. When did trash talking become part of the game? When did it become acceptable to belittle your opponent? The true measure of sportsmanship is how you carry yourself not when you are losing, but when you are winning. Unfortunately, trash talking is the new standard.

“Players and spectators ‘talk trash’ all the time in sports at every level,” writes Mike Edger in an article for Sports Psychology Today. “It is just another aspect of the game in many sports.”

“Some coaches (and parents) I talked to about trash talking actually thought it was perfectly fine and an expected part of sport competition,” explains Dr. Chris Stankovich, aka The Sports Doc.  “In fact, one coach told me sports, like life, aren’t always fair and that learning how to handle trash talking is an invaluable life skill.” 

What? When did this happen? And why do we act like it isn’t a big deal? When did it become more socially acceptable to talk trash than to be a good sport? This is one reason why several youth and interscholastic sports in New Jersey are trying to outlaw trash talking altogether.

Where do you fall on the trash talking debate? Fair or foul?

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Sources:

Is Good Sportsmanship Eroding in America?, Russell Street Report

Some States Looking to Ban Trash Talking in Youth Sports, the Sports Doc


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