Sportsmanship vital for teaching athletes


Editor, The Commercial:

Sportsmanship is defined as fairness, respect for ones opponent and graciousness in winning or losing.

On Dec. 17, 2012, I watched a junior high girl’s basketball game between Pine Bluff Dollarway and Pine Bluff Watson Chapel. What happened after the game was disappointing to me, and several fans who witnessed a lack of sportsmanship from the coach who lost the game.

As the players were lining up behind their coaches to shake hands, the coach who lost the game shook hands with the opponents head coach and abruptly exited behind the score table (she failed to acknowledge the young ladies who just won the game). Coaches are responsible for teaching student athletes how to win and lose. I am of the opinion that this was an isolated incident, and does not reflect or represent the losing coach or the school principles of sportsmanship.

On Dec. 21, 2012, I contacted the athletic director of both schools to voice my approval and concerns of the incident. Both athletic directors were in agreement that sportsmanship is a priority.

I am writing this article to remind coaches, players, fans, and officials to abide by the definition of sportsmanship. It’s just a game. I am of the opinion that sports can be used to teach valuable life lessons. We all have a part as coaches, players, fans, and officials.

Rodney Seals

Pine Bluff