Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Hit Me With Your Best Shot!

I try to make the Scriptures applicable to real-life situations with our kids. Last week in a major league baseball game, New York Yankee Derek Jeter gave us an opportunity to discuss the relationship between sports and Christianity, if any such relationship exists. In a contest versus the Tampa Bay Rays, Jeter pretended to be hit by a pitch. The umpire awarded him first base to the objection of Ray's manager, Joe Maddon, who was ejected for protesting the decision. (There is no instant replay review for this situation.) After the game, Jeter freely confessed that the ball did not him and he was simply trying to help his team win. When told of Jeter's confession, Maddon applauded the Yankee shortstop and wished his own players were like him in this regard. I outlined the situation for my students and asked them to tell me if they think this behavior is acceptable under the guise of 'it's part of the game.' Today and tomorrow, I will share some of their thoughts. Girls are in purple, boys are in blue, and the grade is shown next to the name of the author.

"I do not believe what Derek Jeter did was wrong, I think it was different than lying because he freely admits that the ball did not hit him. I think a good player does whatever he needs to win without directly breaking a rule. It happens so much in sports that it becomes an essential part of the game. Just like being able to hit, being smart is a quality that you can use to help your team out. However, what Jeter did does not have a good moral story behind it and does not directly show values displayed in the Bible, although I do not think it displays characteristics contrary to what the Bible teaches. I do not think it is wrong. I understand how people think it is but there are too many different situations in sports that need deception to be successful to say that its wrong."
Cody 12

"Derek Jeter lied in a game just to get ahead, and I think it's wrong. Just because you are playing a game, it does not mean you should be untruthful. The Bible says do not lie, and the circumstances do not him exclude from the rule. He should be honest all day every day, no matter what. Winning a game is important, but following God's commandments is more important."
Jalyn 10

"I think it is okay to stretch the truth to win a game. I wouldn't have done what he did, though; I just wouldn't feel right. But the ump did make the call so it wasn't all Jeter's fault. I don't think that Jeter was being honest but it was good when he admitted to it after the game. I think in some circumstances it is okay and some it is not."
Wade 8

"As a Christian, I believe that he was wrong. However, as an athlete, I feel it was wrong but acceptable. Many times, we get refs who are not the greatest but at times, we can use that to our advantage. This was quite an exaggeration because he did it on purpose, and knew he could get away with it. Derek Jeter is a cheater!"
Chelsea 10
"Christian values are often discarded when it comes to sports because the players will do anything to win. Deception is always present during sports because, as I said before, players will do anything to win. The devil is deceptive; therefore as people, we mimic the devil during games. If someone is a "true" Christian, they would follow God's rules regardless."
Bryant 12

God bless,
Luke 18:1
me at steve@hawleybooks.com


Sheila Deeth said...

I don't watch baseball, but these days so many soccer players (my sport) "dive" and pretend to be fouled. Just looks like cheating and poor sportsmanship. Interesting to read your kids comments, and a great way to get them thinking.

Solomon Alexander said...

I agree Sheila. It's not part of any game to deceive the officials. I have a real problem with people who teach kids it's OK to fool those in authority. But the students here did a fantastic job.

Steve Hawley said...

Thanks for your comments! I will run several more tomorrow. I thought it was interesting that boys tend to think it is acceptable while girls do not. Also, the better the athlete, the more likely to condone it. God bless,Steve
Luke 18:1