Fair play

I usually avoid inspiration porn, but this one caught my eye because people were talking about fair-play and applauding the player for making the ultimate sacrifice to uphold the sportsman spirit. Yet, I wonder if this was indeed the way to go.

See the article for yourself (I’ve taken a screenshot as I don’t have a perma-link to the article) :

Here’s what I think –

The whole point of competitive sport is to win by making the least number of mistakes! Competitive sport is not about pity. As long as you are doing your best, you deserve to win. Just because someone else makes a mistake, you shouldn’t step down and let them take your spot because you wouldn’t have won if not for that mistake. If that were the case, football players who mistake the goal post to be wider than it is, due to fatigue, should be allowed a goal because it was an ‘honest’ mistake. Cricketers who couldn’t judge the position of the ball due to sunlight, should be allowed to drop catches because they would’ve obviously caught it if not for the sun!

No. The runner who was mistaken about the finish line, did not deserve to win; because he, made a mistake. In a competition, you’re supposed to be at your best at all times. If you slip, you lose. That’s what the game is all about.

The guy who gave up his first place finish out of ‘respect for his competitor’ is an idiot who is setting the wrong example. Doing your best and ignoring the rest is the best example of fair play. Looking out for your competitor is an example of stupid-emotional play.


  1. I agree. Had the kenyan been shot in the leg mid race, it would still make some sense. Not judging the finish line correctly is completely his fault. There isn’t even a question of sportsmanship here. Its plain wrong.


  2. Pavitra · · Reply

    I read your post Aamil, despite what the rumors say.
    And yes, I agree with you.


  3. I think we judge too soon, too harshly. Anaya did what he thought was right at that point of time. There are no absolute rights or wrongs.


    1. There are no absolute rights or wrongs, yet, I don’t agree with the concept of sacrifice in a competition. In a competition, the odds should be fair and nobody should be pitied for their mistakes.


    2. Also, thank you for stopping by, Deepika! Nice to see you here.


  4. You obviously aren’t a fan of Disney Pixar’s Cars :) [McQueen loses the race but wins the moral high ground.]


    1. the moral high ground

      That’s the problem right there. Why are we saying that giving up your hard-earned victory because of the mistake somebody else is the morally right thing to do? Watch this video. Here, a girl trips during a race. But the other girls keep running. She then gets up and continues to run, eventually over-taking the others and winning the race!

      Instead of feeling entitled to the win because she worked so hard and then ruing the others because they took advantage of a genuine mistake, she just got up and ran faster than ever so she could win. That right there, is what I like about competitive sport. It’s unforgiving, but at the same time, it brings out the best in you. I don’t think pity would be able to even come close to that.


  5. Don’t know what to say about this chap, but if you feel it is right then it is right and if you it is wrong then it is wrong. And same applies to this Spaniard :)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. But the beauty of sports is that it is not subjective. It is not about feeling. It is about whether you crossed the line or not. You can get passionate arguing about “what could be” v/s “what happened”. But that’s for the audience. Not the sportsperson.

      Sportsmanship is not about winning or letting others win. It is about the sport, and playing it truly. That perfection that sportsmen demand from themselves, that is inspiring to watch. Not this. This is stupid, and it is not about feeling.


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