The Importance Of Professional Athletes

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In modern culture the established altruistic values surrounding sports have contributed to the widely held belief that professional athletes are somehow superhuman, specifically when it comes to dealing with injuries. For instance, by playing hurt for the good of their team, past athletes, like Emmitt Smith, who despite of a separated shoulder continued to play against the New York Giants in 1993, have inadvertently set a precedent condoning the act of risking long term health in order to “live in the moment” (Rhoden 4). Ultimately, this is where the controversy surrounding the handling of athlete injuries arises. Fans, who have witnessed such incredible feats of heroism and toughness, have begun to generalize all athletes as superhuman entities, capable of withstanding unfathomable levels of pain. These values, combined with the fact that fans pay hundreds of millions of dollars each year to see their favorite athletes in action, have created a “code that mandates that athletes play with pain, that they suck it up” (Rhoden 4) Consequently, professional athletes now find themselves having to decide whether they should …show more content…

By heralding Rose’s actions as “Brilliant and prophetic” and advising players to sit out, rather than entertain millions of people, he gives the audience a glimpse of his character and expresses that he is only interested in preserving the long term well-being of the players. Similarly, Rhoden believes that athletes are just people trying to make a living and questions why athletes should have to risk their livelihood and health in order to entertain fans who care about nothing else than “living in the moment” (6). He claims that sports make up a small part of an athlete’s life, and argues that they should not compromise their long term happiness by trying to advance the misconception that playing hurt is part of the culture of sports

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