Sports: a defense | National exam
Pedro Gonzalez wrote an article for the Spectator that makes some good points about obesity and pornography in America today, but errs in overly condemning sport. Gonzalez’s article begins by discussing the corrosive social and cultural effects of internet pornography – an issue I fully agree with is a serious issue, as I have written on several occasions.. But then Gonzalez moves on to sports: “Like watching porn, the more sports you watch, the more physically impotent you become,” he writes. “The physical consequences of watching sports, like those of consuming porn, end up making men distracted, weaker, fatter, and less manly.”
It’s true, as Gonzalez points out, that Americans who watch a lot of sports are exposed to incessant messages about unhealthy foods and drinks. And there are studies that claim to show that “watching sports on television [is] associated with a higher risk of obesity. Moreover, “the moral, civic and spiritual parallels are even clearer and more disturbing,” he writes. As with so many things in modern American life, sports leagues and sports programming have been co-opted by the left: the alliance between most of the branded professional sports leagues and the radicalism of the Black Lives Matter movement of last summer. was no secret. Why should we give our time and our money to people who hate us? “To watch sport today is to subsidize the enemies of decency and virtue, while allowing us to wither ourselves physically and morally,” says Gonzalez.
There is something about this criticism of the direction the American sports leagues have taken in recent years. But the solution to this problem is not to completely abandon the long and proud tradition of national sports culture. Sport is, and almost always has been, a fundamental part of American identity. Professional Baseball Cards, Babe Ruth, Cracker Jack; Roger Staubach’s winning pass from Hail Mary in an NFL playoff game in 1975; a 38-point victory for stricken Michael Jordan in Game 5 of the 1997 NBA Finals – these cultural icons and the myth that surrounds them are woven into the fabric of our national history. There is also a distinctly old character to the legends we tell about great moments in American sports history, awards for great male achievements virtu as things to be glorified, honored and attained. To make this point is not to be naive about the recent corruption of our sports culture at the hands of the awakened activists who requisitioned so many of our institutions – it is simply to say that there is still something worthwhile. worth fighting for.
In fact, sport is perhaps just one of the most powerful potential sources of American renewal available to the right: for all the leadership failures of organizations such as the NFL, NBA, and MLB. , the communities and lifestyles that have grown up around these institutions constitute one of the last forums for true male bonds and friendships. The cigar rooms have largely disappeared; Hair salons are not what they used to be. But Saturday football is still a place where men can be men together, one of the few all-male spaces still intact in the public square.
Any serious plan to regain healthy American masculinity cannot neglect these spaces. To cut them down rather than to try to recover them is to make the perfect the enemy of the good.