An Act of UNsportsmanlike Conduct

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It’s been four days since LeBron James stormed off the court without shaking hands with his opponents after a loss.

I’m not mad because it’s the first time, or even the last time this will happen. 

I’m mad because it’s LeBron James. The NBA’s poster child. The self tattooed “Chosen One”. I’m mad because he perpetuated this act of unsportsman like behavior when he could have stood up like a man and accepted his loss. 

For years I have been quite vocal in believing that athletes or celebrities are not and should not be role models for our children. But children do imitate these individuals when they play sports. 

And one of the most fundamental things we all learn in sports and in life is sportsmanship. Having the ability to hold your head high in the face of defeat and congratulate and respect your opponent. And for that matter having the ability to do so after a victory.

What James did, is unacceptable. For all of the graces and accolades that he receives, and justifiably so, he’s never shy about praising his ability and accepting them graciously. But in one of the few devastating losses in his career, he crumbled. 

He crumbled like the thousands of athletes we thought he may have been better than.

Millions of children were no doubt watch the Eastern Conference Finals after the Magic defeated Cleveland. And now, even if it’s just one child, thinks it’s acceptable to not show your opponent respect or sportsmanship because you lost, is despicable. 

Sports and athletes some times have a innate ability to teach us things about life and accepting the challenges and joys we will encounter throughout. 

Unfortunately, James failed. 

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