Unfortunately I was reminded of this by recent events.
As you will see from my profile, I follow several sports which carry a risk of injury. I accept that what I am about to write also applies to other sports, but I can only comment about those which I watch and read about.
Whenever somebody involved in one of these sports is injured, or worse, or faces life changing adversity, people rally around, both fellow participants and fans. Help is given, funds are raised, and in extreme cases tributes are paid and charities are formed. The specialist media for that particular sport then announces, “only in the (insert relevant sport) family” does this happen.
Depending on my mood this either irritates or amuses me, because, well, it’s not, is it? It’s in any sport with a strong sense of community.
If the sport involves risk or danger, that in itself engenders a bond between the competitors, because there’s a sense of, “that could have been me.” The fans also appreciate the risks that are being taken in order to entertain them which creates a bond of respect and gratitude.
If it’s a team sport, team spirit will unite the players, and support for and loyalty to the team will tie the supporters into this.
So, yes, if something bad happens, then it brings out the best in people, we do what we can. Not just in one sport, not just in sport, but anywhere where that sense of family and community exists.
And that’s a good thing. So let’s not claim exclusivity for it, whichever sport we follow.
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