Beyond the Scoreboard: Common Issues in Sports

There has been much rally and fan loyalty from Super Bowl 50 in the last week. Whether you cheered for the Denver Broncos or the Carolina Panthers, I believe we can all applaud the prowess, agility, and strength of the players. As easy as it is to get caught in the excitement of the game and clever commercials (the Doritos Ultrasound commercial was great!), it is important to not lose sight of some of the hurdles that exist in sports.

  1. In Concussion, Pathologist Dr. Bennet Omalu is adamant about bringing transparency to the topic of brain damage in football players who suffer multiple concussions. His audience, however, is more concerned about how Dr. Omalu’s work will affect the business of football. Recently, an article from USA Today Sports reported the influence that Concussion had on a Pittsburgh prep star. The star turned down multiple football scholarships, citing the long-term health risks of the game were not worth it.
  2. Although initially hesitant to coach a girl in the sport of boxing, Coach Frankie Dunn agrees to take Maggie Fitzgerald on as a mentee in Million Dollar Baby. He sets his expectations of Maggie and is intentional in stating that he does not want Maggie to come crying to him when she gets hurt. His purpose is to foster a strong, resilient fighter.
  3. In Bend It Like Beckham, daughter of orthodox Sikh parents, Jess Bharma, defends her decision in attending a soccer game over her sister’s wedding. She describes her love for soccer and mentions that her talent has been discovered by an American scout. Jess’s story demonstrates overcoming the hurdle of conservative cultural attitudes.
  4. Sports agent Jerry Maguire addresses his football client, Rod Tidwell, as a friend and tells him that he needs to stop playing with his head in the movie, Jerry Maguire. The honesty and tough love from a sports agent showcases how his role can be integral to an athlete’s support system.
  5. In Draft Day, Sonny Weaver uses a competitive negotiation strategy to benefit himself in a trade deal with another NFL team. Because he has done research on the other team and knows what is important to them, Sonny can use clever wordplay to convince the other team to accept his deal terms.

And of course, we did not forget about the Halftime Show by Beyonce, Bruno Mars, and Coldplay. Beyonce’s performance was saturated with powerful political tribute to the Black community right in conjunction with honoring Black History Month. Do you have anything to add to our Beyond the Scoreboard list? If so, please let us know in the comments or share your ideas on our website.

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