Sport is drama, sport is life, sport is real. On the surface, you may only see grown and oversized men and women nonsensically kicking a ball, or following complicated formations on the ice rink, court or field, but there is more to that. Throughout the world, sports is a business, which is why you have numerous professional clubs supported by legions of fans who in turn, go head to head in Internet forum and social media arguments.If you’re an athlete, you wouldn’t want to disappoint these fans in Stadio Azteca. Photo from: http://www.ubicalas.com/
You may call one’s love for a particular sport and overreaction, and the athletes overpaid. Unknown to you, there are a lot of factors and happenings behind the scenes. Keep in mind that the drama in the board rooms, offices and lockers are as exciting as the games themselves! So, rather than watching teary-eyed actors dramatize nearly-impossible situations on TV, watch athletes perform superhuman feats instead. Why? Well, here are some of the reasons why:
#1. Athletes worked hard to be where they are now
Most of the men and women doing battle on the ring, court or field sign multimillion contracts – a three-year contract by an NBA star may even be more than what you earn in your lifetime. Detractors scream that they don’t deserve these contracts, and the money should be given to the needy instead. Well hey, all they do is kick balls, throw them in the hoop or beat the stuffing out of each other in the ring, right?
Real talk: Unlike the rich princes in your nightly soap operas who were born rich and privileged, most athletes worked their buttocks off just to get to their current level, and this takes a toll on their body, like in the case of ice hockey players. Boxers, MMA artists, F1 and stock car racers, hockey, basketball, football and soccer players submit themselves to all sorts of physical punishment everyday since childhood. This is done not only to live the dream someday, but also win championships and the adoration of millions of fans.
#2. A lot of athletes come from squalor backgroundsDiego Maradona lived in poverty as a child. Now, he’s known as one of the best footballers of all time. Photo from: www.totalbarca.com
Professional athletes did not spring into being as power-punching, emphatically dunking and accurately batting superstars – these people have interesting backgrounds. Just like millions around the world, they have had to encounter the difficulties of everyday living, which are probably more severe than the events in your lifetime.
Real talk: Growing up in the Philippines, Manny Pacquaio sold cigarettes and slept on the streets, while barely having anything to eat. Diego Maradona’s father worked from 4am in a factory everyday to support his family of six children, doing his best not to let them starve. Lebron James’ mother was without a permanent home. Kevin Durant’s mother worked multiple low-paying jobs just to feed her four children.
#3. Athletes are not the arrogant pricks you see on TV
Football stars like Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi celebrate like crazy every time they score a goal for their respective clubs or countries, while NBA stars enter the court with theatrics. They may look arrogant on TV, but should we judge an athlete with his on-court theatrics and performance alone? Nope.
Real talk: Most athletes are actually down-to-earth people, conscious of their roots and never forgetting about their past. Although some undeniably spend extravagant amounts of money (to buy a yacht, of all things), most donate it to charities and use it to help those in need. Cristiano Ronaldo donated a whopping $83,000 and football gear to sponsor a 10-month old child’s operation, while Lionel Messi is an ambassador for UNICEF. Roger Federer, one of the best tennis players of all time, is part of UNESCO and helps out in numerous charitable events – oftentimes arranging a collaboration with his fellow tennis players. Despite his career earnings and silverware, he does not live an extravagant lifestyle: he doesn’t own a mansion, only a couple of apartments. He is also hailed by many as a great human being first before being known as a tennis player.