Unification in Sport

Sports are a huge part of American culture. Participation in sports is encouraged from childhood through high school, and, if one wants, they can often pursue sports at the collegiate or professional level. Furthermore, professional sports and athletes are vigorously publicized. Why is it that sports are so strongly encouraged, as well as so highly publicized?

In “What do Eurovision, sport, and ritual warfare have in common?“, by Erin B. Taylor, she describes the similarities between Eurovision and sport. Taylor believes that “it is worth stopping to think about why [Eurovision] is so popular and has been going for so long” because “it can give us insights into what it means to be human.” Taylor then parallels this point to the culture of sports. Taylor believes that Eurovision “unites Europeans more than it divides them.” This element of unification is a strong aspect in why sports are so strongly encouraged and publicized. Playing a sport teaches you how to work together with different types of people, and unites these individuals under one team with a goal. This fostering of unification strongly develops human relationships. Also, the promotion of professional sports displays to the masses this image of unification among a team. Furthermore, professional sports teams bring fans together with the same desire: for their team to succeed.

Sports illustrate the notion of unification, thus the reasoning behind their popularity. Sports, just as Eurovision, are “a common tradition, full of rituals and cultural memes” that individuals “participate in and that are understood, and appreciated.”