Respect – Have We Lost It?

Written by Posted On Friday, 19 November 2021 00:00

As philosopher Ralph Waldo Emerson once said, “The trouble with common sense is that no one uses it anymore.” Respect, I have always believed, is one of common sense. It comes from that Golden Rule: “Do unto others as you would want them to do unto you.” It’s a tried-and-true statement that applies on the field/court/rink as well as on the street. As an example, fighting in the NHL is allowed. Olympic ice hockey nor collegiate nor high school ice hockey allow fighting. Further, in other professional sports e.g., NFL, NBA, while fighting may break out, players are subject to immediate ejection. Have we lost respect for our opponents?

While I’m at it, take football. Where is the respect of an opponent when a defensive lineman sacks the QB then “prances” away thumping on his chest like the warrior did when killing the lion in the arena? Isn’t that the object of a defensive lineman? To sack the QB for $18-20 million per year?

A bigger concern is the role model issue. Younger players who aspire to play in professional sports look up to those now on the field. Having played on the field in most of the sports, I realize their emotions and strong desire to win but outright fisticuffs are not the way to do it. Consider how you feel on the other end as your opponent is carrying on while you suffer the embarrassment.

Trash talk is often the beginning of the fighting, yet some of the renowned players feel it is funny to engage in such behavior. Unfortunately, because of their professional status, our young athletes tend to mimic their behavior. Perhaps I’m wrong here, but many watch stock car races for the crashes that happen. The racers themselves are not of that mindset. If they’re driving the car that is in that crash, their life is in the hands of others. They race for the sport of it — not that unfortunate accident.

How do we impress upon professional athletes the importance of proper conduct? Coaches in professional sports tell me that they are not responsible for a player’s 24/7 behavior. The recent loss of life due to the intoxication of an athlete (DUI) is an example of poor behavior. That athlete may never play again! This brings me to QB Aaron Rodgers (Green Bay) whose selfish attitude toward COVID-19 has turned the focus of the Packers from an issue of the team to one of focusing on vaccinations.

Will you log in about the attitude of some of today’s pro athletes?

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Dr. Jim Tunney

Jim Tunney had an exemplary career in sports. A former high school coach, teacher, principal and district superintendent, he had a 40-year career in officiating football and basketball.

Thirty-one of those years he was an NFL Referee working a record twenty-nine post-season games including four Super Bowls, ten NFC/AFC Championship games, six Pro Bowls and twenty-five Monday Night Games.

He officiated some of the most memorable games in NFL history. His book Impartial Judgment: “The Dean of NFL Referees” Calls Pro Football As He Sees It, chronicles his NFL career.

As a Professional Speaker, he is Past President of The National Speakers Association and a Charter Member of its most prestigious group – The CPAE Speakers Hall of Fame. Jim holds every professional designation of the NSA, including the Oscar of Professional Speaking – The Cavett. NSA named him Philanthropist of the Year in 2007.

Dr. Tunney (a doctorate in Education from the University of Southern California) continues to serve his community as  Trustee Emeritus of both Monterey Peninsula College and York School; where he once served as Headmaster. In 1993, he founded the Jim Tunney Youth Foundation to support local community programs that develop leadership, work skills, wellness and self-esteem in youth. He and his wife Linda live in Pebble Beach, California. They have six children and sixteen grandchildren.

As an author he has written and/or co-authored thirteen books: Impartial Judgment, Chicken Soup for the Sports Fan’s Soul, Speaking Secrets of the Masters, You Can Do It!, Super Bowl Sunday, Insights into Excellence, Lessons in Leadership, Build a Better You and his most recent book, It’s the Will, Not the Skill.

If you are looking for a keynote speaker who educates, motivates and entertains with a lifetime of stories about leadership, team building and sports 831-595-3258.

tunneysideofsports.com/

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