SPORTS ORGANIZATIONS TEAM UP TO PROMOTE GOODWILL IN SPORTS
A coalition of professional, college, high school and
Olympic sports officials announced the formation of the
"Citizen Through Sports Alliance" yesterday. The goal of
the alliance is to "generate a sports culture that supports
those values necessary to teach and learn respect for self
and respect for others" (NFSHSA). Representatives from the
NHL, NFL, NBA, USOC, NCAA and groups commented on the
coalition. USOC Exec Dir Dick Schultz: "We will try to
target virtually everything out there, violence in sports,
drug abuse, respect and the attitudes that individual have.
We will try to develop positive role models who can have an
impact on younger kids" (Colorado Springs GAZETTE TELEGRAPH,
1/31). Schultz: "We're all here because we all have the
same problems ... But we see a unique opportunity if we work
together to really have a dynamic impact on our society"
("SportsCenter," ESPN, 1/30). NCAA Exec Dir Cedric Dempsey
said "Sports in America is really a reflection of our
society. We are attempting through this coalition to lead
that society" (Toronto GLOBE & MAIL, 1/31).
REAX: In N.Y., George Vecsey writes "It was hard to
think about respect [at yesterday's press conference] while
much of the world was preoccupied with the grubby spectacle
of Bill Parcells trying to bolt a contract with New England.
... Money, money, money. The four top professional leagues
are held to a high standard because their players make so
much money" (N.Y. TIMES, 1/31). On "NBC Nightly News," Bob
Dotson examined sportsmanship in the feature, "Spoiled
Sports." Dotson: "It's not a pretty picture. The kicking,
the spitting, the tantrums well rewarded." Noting
yesterday's alliance, Dotson said sports leaders "finally
decided to try and stop the craziness. Their solution:
present a united front, from high school to college to the
pros, stressing an antique value -- sportsmanship." Don
McPherson, of the Center for Sports in Society: "It's too
late for the professional athlete because they've been
rewarded for this type of behavior because they're in the
pros and they're making money. ... it's very difficult to
get a guy who's making a million dollars a year, plus, to
all of the sudden change his behavior because you're
concerned about the culture" ("NBC Nightly News," 1/30).