Thursday, 11 July 2013

Why do we give highflying players

of "sport" rewards over and above that of winning the game?
Of course if you are a "professional" player of any sport and you are involved full time in that you need money to support yourself. I also recognise that, to play sport, you need to be at the peak of your physical fitness. It takes enormous physical and psychological effort to reach the top - even with the help of illegal substances in too many cases. You work hard.
So, you get paid to do it. The problem is that some people get paid what seem to me to be obscene amounts. On top of that they get paid for "sponsoring" (advertising) brands, kicking a winning goal, hitting the winning home-run etc. We all know how it works.
But it seems that is not enough. It seems that these monetary riches are not enough. Even the roar of their fans and the adulation of the crowds in a "ticker-tape" parade through the city is not enough. They need more. We, it seems, feel the need to give them still more - or to give some of them more.
There is talk of giving Andy Murray a knighthood - for his ability to hit a ball over a net. Yes, he won Wimbledon. He did his job. He got paid to do it. So, why the need to fete him, to give him something extra?
Are we really being fair? It puts further pressure on him to perform and go on performing.
And why should Andy Murray get a knighthood when Virginia Wade was given an OBE - and her achievement is now being virtually ignored? Is that fair? Doesn't that also put more pressure on Andy Murray?
If, as often happens, someone like Andy Murray needs surgery to go on performing at this level does anyone think the surgeon - and his team - deserve medals? Do they get sponsorship and the offers of a knighthood? No, of course not.
I acknowledge that what was once called "sport" has really turned into a multi-billion dollar business but the business model bothers me.


Anonymous said...

Bothers me too.

jeanfromcornwall said...

To be fair, I seem to remember even Andy Murray didn't think a knighthood was appropriate. Nor do I!
I was rather bothered at the amount of honours being sprayed around to all our Olympic winners last year - it rather devalues the awards. Also, it sets a precedent.

Sue Bursztynski said...

I can't help thinking of Paul Keating, who refused the automatic Order Of Australia given to former PMs, because he didn't think he should get an award just for doing his job. Whatever you think of him, I have always taken off my hat to him for that.

catdownunder said...

Well Andy Murray donated some of his winnings from somewhere to the Royal Marsden did he not? All hail to him for that too Jean.
Sue, I am trying to remember the name of the politician from NSW who deliberately resigned the day before he would qualify for a parliamentary pension because he did not believe he should get one. Can you remember him?

Sue Bursztynski said...

Sorry, can't recall. Politicians do work hard if they're doing their jobs, so they're as entitled to their pensions as anyone else. It's just that those pensions can be far higher than most of us make during our working lives and they get perks as well. Nobody will give ME a perk when I retire.