Sports and Men's Health

by popcm on October 24, 2014 - 12:01am

In my Gendered World Views class, we recently learned about the relation between sports and hegemonic masculinity. What stuck out to me is a certain part of a reading derived from Handbook of Studies on Man and Masculinities where Michael Messner talks about men's health in sports. The reason I choose to talk about this subject is because I don't believe I've ever given conscious thought to the fact that sport and health, contrary to popular belief, are often not synonymous. In fact, as explained in the reading mentioned above, men are being taught to use their bodies as tools and ignore their pain and emotions while performing. This explains why research has found that often times sport is associated with unhealthy practices, pain, injury, drug abuse, alcohol abuse and low life expectancy. This phenemenon also relates to workaholics in the workplace. While I still look up to many athletes for their achievements and I believe that the mind plays a crucial role in surpassing our physical "limits", I think the real debate is where we draw the line between healthy and unhealthy practices.

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I definitely agree with you that sports are a way to stay healthy and in shape, I also think that this article that you are referring too is also correct. I have seen this in my first hand experience from playing sports in college and knowing a lot of people who have also played sports in college. While actually doing the sport ca be considered healthy, it is what happens after the sport such as after practice, after a win, and after a loss. Usually when my team wins or any team for that matter, they go out and celebrate and get absolutely smashed. It is a way to celebrate with your teammates and create another bond with them outside of sports. In no way am I saying go get hammered after you win a game for sporting team. I am just simply saying it is how some college teams celebrate. Even after a tough loss, which can be a lot to handle mentally, some guys or girls will go out and drink, just so they can forget the loss and forget the pain that comes with it. I think that sports are definitely associated with an unhealthy living lifestyle, but not every athlete is like this. I think it all just depends on your mentality as a team, if most guys or girls are going out after a win, then most people on the team are going to be peer pressured to go out and drink. If your team is all business and cares more about what they put into their bodies then I think it would be easier to stay and keep living a healthy lifestyle. While I agree with your statement, I also think there are other factors that factor into sports being associated with an unhealthy lifestyle.

I disagree with your stand point on sports and the health factors it portrays on men. First off, there was nothing about men’s health in relation to sport in that article. It just talked about how sports are associated with violent words and actions. In my opinion people are too “soft” now-a-days. Just because a part of the game is violent, it doesn’t mean it is a bad thing. It is exciting. It is fun to watch. Boys will be boys and at the end of the day both teams shake hands and leave everything on the field. That’s the way it should be. I do agree with your statement “this phenemenon relates to workaholics in the workplace.” Where I disagree is where you perceive this as a negative. In my opinion, hard work should be praised. Too many people try to take short cuts and take the easy way out. Sports prove if you work hard, good things tend to happen. This carries over into the work place. I wouldn’t want someone who is lazy to be an employee at my business. At the end of it all I think everyone is babied and always looking to find the negative in things. People need to toughen up and remember sports are a form of entertainment. I’d play through an injury for a million dollars and anyone who says they wouldn’t is a liar. Respect should be given to these athletes instead of trying to bring them down. The sacrifices they make is incredible and I feel they should not be disrespected.

This is a very well written post. It draws me in because I have seen both sides of the argument. Athletes are definitely being encouraged to play through their pain and emotions. But to play sports I feel that you must be physically, mentally and emotionally tough enough to do so. Playing a sport is physically taxing, every athlete goes into their sport knowing that. So injury and pain can be expected from anyone and everyone. As far as the drug and alcohol abuse goes, that is up to the discretion of the athlete themselves. After a win, teams usually like to celebrate and have a good time. Some athletes choose to do it with substances, while others stay clear of it. I do not believe that it is the healthiest of all practices, but I do not believe that it is the worst.

I agree with your stance on this situation. However, I see the other side of the coin on this situation. I am a big athlete, always have been. When it comes to the drug and alcohol abuse, it is all up to the athlete themselves. After a wins or loses, teams usually go out to celebrate. Some athletes also chose to do it with all types of drugs, while others stayed completely away from it. It wasn't always the best choice done by these athletes, but it wasn't the worst thing ever.

I disagree with your stand point as well. I think that you did a good job expressing your opinion but coming from someone who has played sports, I believe that sports are not practicing unhealthy habits at all. Like you said yes there is pain and possibility of injury, but those things are in everyday life with or without sports. I think that playing sports develop many characteristics that can be beneficial for humans. It teaches leadership, handwork and dedication, mental toughness, durability, team work and many other things that could be beneficial, not to mention making some people want to develop better eating and workout habits. What you need to remember is sports are an option. If you feel that sports aren’t beneficial to YOU as a person, than you can simply choose to not play them.

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