For only a few minutes, I’d like you to plunge into your mind and forget what you know. Ignore what you understand about the world and try to let go of the way you see things. To start off, imagine you’re on a lazy stroll outdoors one fine afternoon. You come across a bee, and it attracts your attention because in place of sitting on a flower – it’s flying around in circles. Right in front of you. This single bee goes round and round. You’ll ask, “Why is the bee doing that?” With some pondering you come to the conclusion, it must somehow aid pollination. You know, because the purpose of the bee is to make honey for the beehive. In order to survive. It wouldn’t fly around for any other reason – that would just be a waste of time. Next I’d like to ask you to step back from who you are, as a human being, and look at our species from the outside. Like bees, we’re also animals, we’re also part of the ecosystem. Now imagine what it looks like, from the outside, watching these animals ferociously chasing each other back and forth. Completely focused on the possession of an object and driven to make that object reach a specific side of an area. What if the bee flying in circles, was doing it just for fun? But that doesn’t make sense, that’s not logical – bees are designed pollinate flowers, make a hive, protect the queen bee and circle flying does not contribute. But that’s what we do – we chase a ball around for fun. Let’s think about what sport entails. We have this space with the potential to be anything, we’re intelligent creatures – we can build an array of useful things. You know what we do? We clear it. We make boundaries. We throw in a ball – and all hell breaks loose. For the certain amount of time the game is played for – you lose your humanity. The players are no longer seen as people. You don’t behave like you do on a regular basis, even to your own team mates. But as soon as that final whistle goes – the smiles are on, the laughter is back, you shake hands and it’s as if nothing ever happened. For those minutes between the whistle – you stopped thinking about your life, about current issues, or anything really. You focus entirely on the game and at the end of it, you go back to doing what you were doing before the game commenced. The most absurd thing to think about, is the fact that not only do people obsess with playing the game – but also with watching it. Not only do people forget the humanity of the people they are playing against, but they forget about humanity in general. People get so emotionally involved in sport that they are prepared to resort to irrational actions. There have been several cases of assault and even murder, just because a human being was not supporting the same sporting choice as another human being. At stadiums, be it soccer, rugby or the Olympics, when the crowd gets going – your life is in danger. People have been trampled to death by crowds at stadiums. Forget the fact that there are people in front of me, forget the common sense that there is no more space – I will trample on these bodies like I trample on dirt, because I WILL watch sport. What does sport achieve? The game is over, no conflict has been resolved, the human race has progressed in no way. Nothing was learned, nothing was accomplished. Instead, people removed themselves from the circumstances they were in, forgot about reality and purposefully set their mind to something that makes no difference. If a team is the best in the world, then what? If a game is won, then what? It has no effect on the next game that is played, it has no effect on the future of other games that are played. It does not change the life of people involved. In the end, the game just ends. Strange that we might think an animal does things for a purpose, whereas a sport, which our population so widely supports it borderlines a religion, essentially has no purpose for the survival of our species. Now for those of you who didn’t manage to remove yourselves from your perspective, and didn’t entertain these thoughts from an outside view – I’d like to assure you that I do understand the importance of sport – for recreation, and the industry that is now reliant on it etc. Sport is necessary and there’s no changing it. I just thought it strange, how we’re so accustomed to its existence that we don’t question it. How we’re brainwashed to support it, as if we’re forced to choose sides of a war. I just thought it strange, how intense our personal connection with sport is, even though it makes us blind to the face of our own kind. I just thought it strange.

Published by Anja Cronje