In our lifetime, it seems that sport has given power to alcohol companies. Sport fuels alcohol and alcohol fuels sport. They work in tandem but that’s not what it should be about. It wasn’t that way when we were growing up. Now our grandkids’ perception of professional sports is being tarnished by the commercialisation of alcohol. It is too late to change this? Can sport and alcohol be separated anymore?
When we were growing up, mates still enjoyed sharing a beer at the pub while they watched the game. But back then, the game wasn’t tarnished by the monetisation and sponsorship from alcohol companies. The players didn’t get paid very much or in some cases, they weren’t paid at all. Rather, sport taught us the value of hard work, dedication and teamwork. It was inspiring to watch our favourite athletes every week play with such passion and skill. It was about loving the game, not loving money or alcohol. They were role models for us and our children. Remember these Australian footy sports stars: Wally Lewis, Dipper, Warwick Capper, the Ella Brothers and John Eales?
Now the game is a muddle of drugs, bad behaviour and alcohol. Kids look to sport and will think it is acceptable to get drunk at the game – after all, there’s beer advertising plastered all over the field and players. For instance, look at Karmichael Hunt, is this the role model we want for our grandkids now? How are we going to give our grandkids a better view of sport? How can we get them to love it for the right reasons?
The power doesn’t lie with the athletes now. When did all this change? They are pretty much just pawns in the alcohol industry’s scheme to make more money. They pay the players, which then encourages alcohol consumption. It is fuelled by their sponsorship.
So when our grandkids attend games, they are primed with XXXX beer. It’s become the norm to associate alcohol and sport. They aren’t learning the important lessons of sport – dedication, passion and teamwork. The real value of sport is being lost.
Do you think the role models we had aren’t there for our grandkids? Share with us below.