The idea of sportsmanship is something that has been discussed frequently in recent days. The story of NFL Quarterback, Andrew Luck, is a prime example of why this subject has come up. Luck is a player who has had a reasonably successful career. However, the inevitable effects of numerous injuries have taken their toll on him, and he has chosen to take early retirement.
Well, the news was somehow released too early when he was still on the sidelines of a preseason game. If that wasn’t bad enough, fans began booing him! The choice to retire was not an easy decision for him, but it made total sense from a quality of life standpoint.
Even so, many fans were selfishly upset because their fantasy teams had been messed up! That is poor sportsmanship if I’ve ever seen it.
In my experience, integrity is about displaying character even when things don’t go your way. It is about wanting a good outcome for all involved. Hopefully, these kinds of stories will serve as a template for what not to do. The truth of the matter is that in competition, there will always be winners and losers. Some days it works out, and other times it does not. All that I know is that poor displays of sportsmanship do not make a tough situation better.
There will always be a place for those who are good sports. It goes even deeper than that. Maintaining a level of character still deserves a degree of respect.