Humans

Debunking Most Popular Stereotypes in Sports

Most people like talking about sports in their leisure time. As a way to pass the time, people often hold conversations about any number of topics surrounding sports. Many of these conversations are often about team performances and top players’ statistics. 

Unfortunately, when debating picks against the spread, some cliché opinions sneak into the conversation – opinions that are formed based on certain stereotypes and not based on facts. While people may want to believe they’re true and based on trusted sources, some opinions don’t hold water. 

Let’s look at some biased voices in sports and put to rest some of these false stereotypes. 

Athletes in Shape Are Doping

We’ve seen a handful of athletes reach the top of their game with the “help” of a few substances. Some of the doping scandals were so prolific that they affected our view on certain games or stirred solid fanbases in the opposite direction. Banned substances can indeed enhance an athlete’s performance, but that doesn’t mean that every successful athlete is using banned substances. 

Consistent physical training, special diets (including legal supplements), and relentless practice sessions can – and do – also produce stellar results, and in many cases, these are the only things that top sportsmen and women attribute to achieving their success. When you see your favorite sports personalities, it’s most likely that their dedication and hard work are paying off. 

You’ll see results without looking for boosters when you put in the work. It’s also impossible to carry on doping for long periods of time in professional sports, as players are tested regularly. Also, the penalties for doping are quite steep, and most athletes and teams work hard to avoid them as they can be career-ending. 

Physical Athletes Are Not Smart

We often marvel at athletes’ brilliance when they perform in their fields. Though at times, some of us find it hard to believe they’re also intellectually gifted. This misconception is widespread, and it touches on both professional sportsmen and student-athletes. 

Research has shown that this fallacy that you need to be lacking in other intellectual areas to be great at sports simply isn’t true, especially among student-athletes. While it may be true that student-athletes get into tertiary education on their sporting merits, graduation rates among student-athletes are sometimes higher than regular student graduation rates. 

Professional sportsmen and women have also proven to be intellectually competent, if not gifted. Many athletes (if not most of them), even in high levels such as the premier league, earn postgraduate degrees to support themselves in careers outside of sports as a backup. Moreover, after retirement, many athletes establish and run successful businesses.

Passionate Fans Are Hooligans

Sports fans can come off as too enthusiastic when they’re cheering for their teams. To people who don’t follow sports, it’s hard to understand the passion, actions, and loyalty of dedicated sports fans. All the same, it would be inaccurate to say that fans don’t cross the lines sometimes in exactly the same way as it is false to say that all passionate fans do cross the lines. 

The fact is, neither of these stereotypes is true. Occasionally ‘fanhood’ goes beyond the stands and spills into the streets as unsavory behavior. Such behavior isn’t acceptable in sports or other aspects of society, but it’s unfair to label all passionate fans as hooligans when not all fans are involved in unsavory acts. 

Fans are a catalyst that fuels the atmosphere in games, and sports could hardly survive without them. Loyal fans often travel long distances to cheer for their favorite teams, making competitions more exciting. Being fans is a way for friends to come together in far more socially acceptable ways than this stereotype takes into consideration. 

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