I can't help but feel incredibly annoyed by the events reported in this article, concerning a high school girl's basketball team who defeated their opponents 100-0. Apparently, the team is apologizing for their victory and seeking a retroactive forfeit, worrying that they demonstrated poor sports(wo)manship by crushing the other team to the extent they did. A few details might seem pertinent to the case. First of all, both schools are private schools. Secondly, the winning school is a Christian school. Thirdly, the losing school is incredibly small—there are only 20 girls in the whole school, eight of which play on the basketball team. Fourth, the losing school has not won a game in four years. Fifth and finally, the losing school caters to students with learning disabilities, such as dyslexia, ADD, and the like. Perhaps these facts are not relevant, but I assume at least some of them will influence the way at least some people react to at least some aspects of what happened.
Moving on, I think much of this is ridiculous. It seems like political correctness once again run amok. Now, it may very well be that the winning team acted poorly in some way. For example, if members of the winning team intentionally derided members of the losing team, we might claim they demonstrated poor sportsmanship. But this hardly calls for a retroactive forfeiture, and it certainly doesn't justify apologizing for winning. None of that makes sense to me. What, for instance, would forfeiting accomplish? It's clear that the losing team did not stand a chance of winning. So why should the winning team forfeit? They didn't cheat. If anything, forfeiting the game seems a bit condescending. It's not much different than just handing the other team the ball and intentionally letting them win. Does that really help anybody? Who could possibly feel good about that?
Anyway, the story irked me. People tend to think I'm callous because I've always scoffed at stories where the disadvantaged are catered to in such artificial ways. For example, when people with certain disabilities (be they mental or physical) are voted homecoming king/queen or given a spot on the varsity football team. It's one thing if people in the school genuinely admire the person's perseverance and think that person deserves the recognition he/she is given. But, sadly, I think people are often just trying to prevent hurt feelings or, even worse, save face. I'm willing to bet there are people out there without any official disabilities who are just as heartbroken at being excluded from certain activities as are those who are sometimes handed the opportunities merely because of their disabilities. It's the “merely because” that irks me, and it's the “merely because” that could (and should!) offend those who are sometimes the recipients of this “generosity.”
Blah. I'm sure I could have said something more interesting about all this. I first ran into this story a few days ago and wanted to blog about it right away, but I've procrastinated. On top of that, it's late and I need to go to bed so I'm rushing through this and trying only to capture my most basic thoughts on the matter. Nonetheless, does anyone even slightly agree with me here? Is anyone sympathetic? Just remember, if you don't validate my feelings, you're not being a very politically correct person—especially now that I have a permanent limp.