The pandemic helped to see the real situation. People realize that sport, commercialized from top to bottom, occupied a disproportionately important place with us – and this is clearly not good for modern society. In fact, it turned into a new world religion, appropriating colossal funds, which are so sorely lacking in education, medicine, science and the social sphere. And it costs too much – even for the European Union and the United States| Andriy Manchuk
The global coronavirus pandemic has affected absolutely all spheres of public life, covering it with waves of panic fears. To understand the extent to which our world has changed in these weeks, just look into the sports section of any information site. There is no more news about the sport. Instead, you will see an endless list mourning sporting events postponed indefinitely due to the threat of this disease. A non-sporting secular chronicle, which previously talked about parties and parties, came down to the news about who else from the stars discovered a virus, or got caught by the police when trying to violate quarantine.
From the beginning of March, the main sports tournaments of the Old and New Worlds were canceled – the European Football Championship, the Champions League and the Europa League, most national championships in absolutely all sports, games of the American National Basketball Association and the National Hockey League. The transfer of the Summer Olympic Games to Tokyo has been agreed upon, which the Japanese authorities have long resisted. The International Olympic Committee promised to defend them at all costs – but pressure from other countries eventually forced Japan to retreat.
“Even if Japan can hold back the outbreak of coronavirus, the Olympic Games this summer will not make sense if other countries cannot send their athletes,” admitted Japanese Prime Minister and Finance Minister Taro Aso, who said the Olympics should be held only in a security situation and comfort for all participants of the main sports forum of our time. Not to mention the fact that athletes cannot prepare for the Games under total quarantine.
This situation is unprecedented in the history of world sports. And this affects not only indicators and records. The cessation of official competitions is a blow to the economy that has developed around it, with multi-billion-dollar advertising budgets, fabulous broadcast revenues, huge salaries of leading world stars, and a whole bunch of related business – from the production of branded clothing, inventory and ending with a sports tote on which they scroll and launder cash flows.
The sports press is also closing down – including the Ukrainian magazine Soccer, where the country’s best sports journalists once shone – Ruslan Marmazov and Artem Frankov. The publication does not go to print, and its team was sent on indefinite leave at its own expense, with completely unclear prospects. After all, there is nothing to write about – and the main “sports” topic of recent days has been the accusations against American coaches, who for many years have raped promising athletes.
Most sports fans would consider such a situation impossible yesterday, but now they have to get used to the new reality. Initially, fans protested against stopping the championships, continuing to gather in squares and bars – which probably helped spread the virus. But the crisis always leads to a reassessment of familiar values, allowing one to distinguish the present from the vain tinsel, and now he has changed his attitude towards idols who are deified during life. Social networks in Spain were captivated by a characteristic meme on the theme of coronavirus – it portrays a woman who addresses the owners of sports clubs: “You give millions of euros a month to football players and 1800 euros a month to biologists. Now you need treatment. Go to Ronaldo or Messi and they will find you a vaccine. ”
The pandemic helped to see the real situation. People realize that sport, commercialized from top to bottom, occupied a disproportionately important place with us – and this is clearly not good for modern society. In fact, it turned into a new world religion, appropriating colossal funds, which are so sorely lacking in education, medicine, science and the social sphere. And it costs too much – even for the European Union and the United States.
Of course, sports clubs have always liked to talk about social responsibility – but their ostentatious charity almost always boils down to well-paid public relations. Coronavirus made this fact obvious. Wealthy celebrities are hiding behind the fences of villas, while ordinary fans are trying to help the helpless old people. The Spanish newspaper Marca wrote that Juventus striker Cristiano Ronaldo is giving away his hotel chain to hospitals for those infected with coronavirus. But this publication quickly disappeared from the website of the publication, and, apparently, turned out to be a banal fake. Former England team player Gary Neville actually handed over two hotels belonging to him to doctors – however, this case is almost isolated against the backdrop of universal egoism that reigns in the world of football stars living under the unsportsmanlike slogan: “everyone is saved alone”.
All this sparked a discussion about the future of modern sports, with calls to re-establish it on new, non-profit grounds – so that sports culture would again serve the community, instead of enriching sports functionaries and businessmen. However, they talked about this even before the pandemic, proposing to abandon the discredited competitions and institutions, and recalling the “alternative Olympiads” that were widespread in the last century – like the famous Comintern Spartakiads, which were considered the main competitions in the pre-war USSR.
The time has come to admit: the coronavirus pandemic objectively pushes humanity to the need to abandon the institution of professional sports, which is now bankrupt before our eyes – and not only financially, but also morally. After all, the cancellation of sports shows did not drop heaven to earth – life is still going on, and people are busy with something more urgent and important than the usual observation of millionaires running around the site.
Professional sports is just one type of business, a breeding ground for corruption, an instrument of political manipulation and pressure
Let’s face it. Modern professional sport is just one of the varieties of not always legal business, a breeding ground for corruption, an instrument of political manipulation and pressure. European stadiums have long turned into an environment of legal development of ultra-right movements, and the fight against xenophobia and racism has become a kind of ostentatious ritual, instead of real efforts aimed at eradicating this problem.
Refusal from commercial championships and doping competitions, the bankruptcy of football clubs – the favourite toys of the robbed fellow citizens of the oligarchy – will save huge amounts of money, which the very same medicine is in dire need of now. At their expense, it is possible to build public sports facilities, develop mass amateur sports, improve the physical culture of ordinary non-star citizens, pulling them out of “sports” bars with a “sports” tote. And this, ultimately, will help to fight against the diseases that endlessly visit us.
There is no silver lining, and the society affected by the epidemic should use the opportunity that has suddenly opened up. Are they telling us that the sport has died? Then it’s time to say – long live the sport!
Another, honest and real.
Source: Liva.com, Ukraine