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Religion and Sports - Essay Example

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The influence of religion in sports cuts across both the players and supporters. With this, it has elicited debate both for and against it’s mainstreaming in the world of sports. …
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Religion and Sports
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Download file to see previous pages The mural at Notre Dame Stadium is a classic example of how religion has gained significance in sports. This “World of Life” mural also dubbed “Touchdown Jesus” informs students, athletes and spectators that religion remains part and parcel of the athletic competition. It teaches all that religion is necessary for achievement as an athlete (Baker, 2007). Religious elements like faith have been known to help players in a highly pressurizing environment. With fanatical following, sometimes an athlete can be overwhelmed by outside influence. This usually emanates from spectators who yearn for good performance. Therefore with faith, an athlete can handle pressure related to off field concerns. In the religious concept, faith is belief in God that He is in control. Thus an athlete will have greater focus, thereby improving his chances of excelling, since the outside influences are taken care of by God. Again, athletes on most occasions view themselves as talented. In religion, these are God given abilities. Here, they view their talents as a God given abilities which must be used to bring glory to God. This alone is a great motivating factor that religion has played in sports. As a result, these athletes compete with greater passion which translates to success (Delaney & Madigan, 2009). In religious congregations, ministers have used sports stories for the benefit of their societies. Some values that resonate well in sports and public include hard work, endurance and detest for cheating. These can have immense impact on communities. It is no doubt that sports just like religion have places for common gatherings. Teams have a following that forms a community (Baker, 2007). For instance in American football, Boston Red Sox has devoted fans who share similar memories of their team. Hence there is closeness among these fans. Supporters therefore will feel comfortable and identify with fellow supporters. This community formed can enjoy the benefit of cohesiveness and a sense of sharing which has enabled humanity to live in harmony. Thus these concepts bind religion and sports together. Religion in sports has been argued to give confidence and strength to athletes. This confidence improves the chances of a success. Here the belief that you have a God behind you, hence the belief of having a good performance (Baker, 2007). When athletes promote and confess their religious beliefs publicly, there is a likelihood that their followers will probably identify with them. An example is in football. When magnificent footballers score, they sometimes show off messages in their chests. Brazilian footballer Kaka is known of scribing the words “I belong to Jesus” in his shirt. This in effect has impacted on his watching fans who would be interested in knowing Jesus and following his ideals, another positive impact of religion in sports (Coakley, 2008). With intense commitments to their teams and sports personalities, spectators give meaning and focus to their lives. Sports spectatorship is also a transformative activity by which fans break out from their boring lives. From this perspective, spectatorship are thought to suit specific religious purpose including disappointments, limitations of daily life, establishing a society of fans and belonging to a team (Baker, 2007). Arguments against religion in sports Arguments against religion in sports border on commitment and adverse erosion of social order. Some of the worst sporting violence has been blamed on sectarianism (Coakley, 2008). A good example that comes into fore is the fierce rivalry between Scottish football clubs Rangers and Celtic. According research, many Catholics ...Download file to see next pages Read More
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