Friday, September 24, 2010

Hit Me With Your Best Shot! (Strike Three!)

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.' This is the thrid and final installment of 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 think that it is okay for him to do that because he did what it takes to win. A real competitive athlete will do that. In sports, sometimes, rules change. Not saying that morals aren't important, but as an athlete, I know how important it is to win games and there are many times throughout the game when refs don't make good calls. Therefore when one time it happens for your team, it's not that big of a deal."
Imani 10

"I do not think it is okay to cheat the umpire as well as your opposing team in order to win. Cheating shows who the lazy people are. Even though he was thinking about his team, he did not think about what the right thing was. What he did was very clever but it had wrong written all over it. Now, the other manager saying that he wishes that his players did that makes it sad to see how much athletes will do just to be able to win and get fame. God tells us to do what is best and what is honest. Everyone should obey that and sports will become more entertaining and fair. I think what Derek Jeter did during the baseball game was wrong and selfish."
Taylor E. 8

"I do not think that what Derek Jeter did was right. His excuse that he wanted to win the game was selfish. His salary does not depend on if he wins or loses every single game. Many people look up to professional athletes; when they set an example that cheating is okay, they are influencing people. It is just like steroids; they are considered cheating, just like lying. If people say that lying is acceptable sometimes, eventually it will happen all the time. People would lose trust and no one would know what is right and what is not. It all comes down to a person's integrity. Derek Jeter should be ashamed, and it was stupid that he told the truth after the game."
Audrey 11

"As Christians we are taught integrity and to uphold our dignity in everything we pursue, whether academics at school, working at a job, or playing sports. We are also encouraged to follow the rules. Rules are sometimes set in stone but there are also implied rules such as in baseball. In my opinion if you get away with it, yes it's fair, but if you get called for it, you better confess. At the Kinkaid football game, I had a horrendous snap and my hand was sweaty. As I began to throw/snap the ball, it slipped from my grasp and became a fumble which was then removed by the other team. As I jogged back to the bench berating myself, I heard coach ward telling the referee that I had not snapped it and the noseguard had jumped. From his perspective, I could understand how he saw no snap , but I told him and the ref what happened. That's my example."
Ian 12

"I think Derek Jeter did what he had to do because he loves the game so much and he didn't want to lose. He gets money when he wins so he did what he had to do. Most of the time people hope we tell the truth but in the heat of a game you don't think about anything but winning. I'm not saying that cheating or lying is okay but we're all human and we're not perfect. Some people are just competitive and they hate to lose."
Caitlin 11

"The morally correct thing to do is to tell the truth. However, lying is okay to some people. Derek Jeter wanted to win and his competitive spirit caused him to put winning and money before ethics. I believe God wants us to make the right decision when it comes to things like this. I know He may feel disappointed when people know the right thing to do but put themselves before others. More than anything, it's just a game. He'll have so many more games to play and it will make him less trusted in the league. Therefore, when he's really hurt, people will not know. Overall, it was wrong and he should have been honest. They lost the game, anyway.''
Giselle 10

God bless,
Luke 18:1
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