News, schools, and views from a uniquely Lowell perspective
17th November 2009

Penalty for poor sportsmanship

posted in In the News, Sports |

Some may think it’s excessive, but today’s Boston Globe reports that Bud Adams, owner of the Tennessee Titans, was fined $250K for making obscene gestures to fans after his team won against the Buffalo Bills last Sunday. According to the article, after his team’s 41-17 victory, Adams made the gesture from his luxury suite and again from the field. As mentioned here in a recent post on media incivility, the nature of public discourse as a whole is steadily declining. Whether you attribute this hefty fine as arrogance on the part of the National Football League or Adams getting his just desserts for “conduct detrimental to the NFL,“ the notion that it is acceptable for an adult (Adams is 86 years old) to make an obscene gesture to fans of the losing team completely contradicts what we teach our student athletes about sportsmanship. At Lowell High School, where students are familiar with the thrill of victory (on Saturday, our boys cross-country team took first place in the Eastern Mass. Division Championship) as well as the agony of defeat, we expect respectful behavior whether you win or lose. It’s called being a good sport, and if a quarter-of-a-million-dollar fine helps Adams learn the lesson, albeit a little late in the game, I’m all for it. By the way, best wishes to our cross-country student athletes as they compete in the All-State Finals this weekend.

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