The sport of football has undergone a great amount of scrutiny in the last few years. Amateur and professional athletes have endured traumas to their heads that have resulted in concussions and possibly long-term effects such as dementia and memory loss. Studies have been publicized in journals, newspaper articles and documentaries. Results from the light shed on this problem include improvements in headgear and rule-changes concerning tackling. Even with the changes, there is still an awareness that football is a sport that carries the very real possibility of injury. Players and parents should be aware of the risks.
There is another type of head injury, however that is
now being discussed concerning the NFL: verbal abuse. The recent
incident involving a player for the Miami dolphins has sparked conversations
about this problem. A young offensive lineman withdrew from the team because of
abuse that he has allegedly taken from his teammates. While
speculation should be approached with caution, it is still sad to see
these types of things coming from athletic teams.
Over the years, we have come to see coaches and
players involved in incidents that have resulted in tirades and screaming at
individuals or groups. A decrease in sportsmanship and a marked increase
in taunting and trash-talking have been seen in the last twenty years at all
levels of athletic events.
These types of incidents are also indicative of a social
issue involving individuals from all walks of life. People apparently feel justified in saying
what- ever comes to their mind, not only by mouth, but also by posting on
social net- works as well.
Some people believe the answer is the implement
of anti-bullying rules and laws. Ironically, this call comes in the midst of a
culture that openly challenges rules and laws. The true answer to this problem
lies in an examination of one’s heart and a correction on a personal
As with most social issues, this problem began at individual
levels and became pervasive through society. In other words, it starts in the
heart and we must conquer it one heart at a
time. As we live within the framework of relationships, we must practice
self-control and expect others to do the same. Bitterness must not be fostered
and encouraged and words must be chosen wisely.
Let us heed the words of Scripture and encourage
those around us to do the same. “A man’s spirit will endure sickness, but a
broken spirit, who can bear? . . . “Death and life are in the power of the
tongue and those who love it will eat its fruits.” (Proverbs 18:16, 21)
- via The Encourager, the weekly bulletin for the Calvert City Church of
Christ, Calvert City, KY. Lance Cordle preaches for the
congregation. He may be contacted through the congregation's website: