What happened to good sportsmanship?

Over the weekend we watched the NASCAR race from Darlington, SC and Game 4 of the Mavericks – Lakers playoff match.  In both events everyone that watched got to see examples of bad sportsmanship.

In the NASCAR race near the the end Kyle Busch and Kevin Harvick were bumping each other when Clint Bowyer got involved and pushed Harvick into Busch.  From my view it looked like Busch thought it was part of the same bumping session and he retaliated.  Busch hooked Harvick’s car by hitting him in the rear quarter panel and spun him into the wall.  It was blatant and uncalled for.  NASCAR’s response so far is to do nothing.  There is a point when letting the boys race and encouraging bad sportsmanship converge and allowing this action by Busch to go unnoticed is beyond that point.  After the race Harvick stopped his car on pit road in front of Busch’s.  He then got out of his car to “talk” to Busch about the incident.  At this point Busch accelerated his car, pushing Harvick’s unattended car into the pit wall and toward a number of people.  This event also appears to be going without notice.

In the Mavericks – Lakers game it was a blow out game at the end of the first half.  The Mavericks played hard for the entire game and the Lakers never made a game of it.  In the fourth quarter the Lakers, feeling frustrated, lost their view of sportsmanship.  First Lamar Odom was ejected for a flagrant foul.  Within a minute of this action Andrew Bynum blocked Jose Berea with an elbow to the ribs as he drove the lane.  He was immediately ejected.  I would suspect that he will receive a next season suspension of some sort, but it won’t be severe enough.  He embarrassed the Lakers, their owners, coaches and fans.

We need to put some civility back into sports and take some of the player egos out of it.

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