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The Forum > Article Comments > Letís promote civility in sport > Comments

Letís promote civility in sport : Comments

By Dvir Abramovich, published 3/7/2007

If we implicitly accept sledging, we are directly endorsing the dumbing down of dialogue and the loosening of standards in sport.

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Sledging is a national sport in Oz. Many of our 'elites' love to sledge us for not voting this way or that way. Some of our newspaper columnists have hinted that such is our shallowness that we respond to dog whisltes and interest rate movements. One columnist who writes for a broadsheet has been unmerciful in his sledging of the great unwashed. This columnist has formed an inexplicable anaclitic relationship with a previous PM and still berates us for tossing the impostor out on his ear.

To witness sledging migrate from our daily lives to the sporting fields is not surprising.
Posted by Sage, Tuesday, 3 July 2007 9:47:29 AM
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there is nothing wrong with sledging, anyone who has been out there in battle understands that psychology can tip the scales in your favour, and everyone wants to win.

Getting under the skin of your opponent to cause them to be effected emotionally is a great tool in unhinging a competitor, and every team does it from cricket, to football, to poker for that matter.

Civility in Sport? can i ask how much sport youve played? for you to not understand and appreciate that sledging/trash talking are part of any game where you are playing to win dumbfounds me.

What a magic thing is sledging. An average player can come up trumps against a better player by simply putting him off his game. Sport is not all about the physical, all sports are a battle of the mind too.

What a silly article.
Posted by Realist, Tuesday, 3 July 2007 12:02:18 PM
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Hmm... interesting.

On the one hand, I've got to agree with Realist. I'm afraid there's a place in sport for sledging. When you're an audience member at a game, there's a certain thrill in heckling the opposition.

That being said, there is a line which you shouldn't cross... it's a tough one. I'm all for sledging your opponent's playing ability, athletic prowess, masculinity and the odd taunt about their heritage if they're whingeing poms... but I suppose some of the really ugly sledging really is going too far.
Posted by TurnRightThenLeft, Tuesday, 3 July 2007 12:15:29 PM
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if you're playing for money, all is fair- just like in business. come to think of it, why not knock old ladies off the footpath- they take up space and don't buy tickets.
Posted by DEMOS, Tuesday, 3 July 2007 12:21:11 PM
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There are plenty of ways of putting an opponent off their game, kicking them in the privates would probably slow most down for a while as well but generally we don't tolerate that just because it might help win the game. That famous technique of fingers where the sun don't shine probably had some impact as well and was about as sportsman like as sledging somebody about their family.

Sledging is a form of assault and should be treated as such. Maybe like other forms of assault we could condone it in controlled consentual situations - set up sledging matches and charge people to listen. I enjoy listening to a really good insult where the recipient is a willing party to the exchange.

Pollies could nominate if they were sledgers and or willing to receive sledging.

People handle verbal assaults in differing ways just as people handle physical assaults in different ways. No one should be forced to endure either just because they wish to follow a career path where assault is accepted but not essential (hard to be a boxer if you are unwilling to be hit).

Lets see our sportsmen and women win because of their skill at playing the game rather than their nastiness of character.

R0bert
Posted by R0bert, Tuesday, 3 July 2007 3:55:13 PM
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Though I love most sports anyone that has been to a cricket, AFL or rugby game will realise that many of the supporters have sewers flowing out of their mouths. I learn't when my kids were young that taking them to the footy and cricket was not a healthy place for them to be. I went to a test match in Sydney a few years back and heard nothing but profanities yelled at the Pakistani cricket team. The language was even worse than watching a SBS late night movie and that is bad.

I agree with the author that our young people worship their sports heroes. Unfortunately it is very hard to find a good role model at the top level. Sports stars are worshipped and paid like gods so expect people to treat them that way. That is why many of them think and are outside the law. AS long as their is an alcholol sponspored culture in sport we will produce the lowest common denominator.
Posted by runner, Tuesday, 3 July 2007 4:28:23 PM
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