Is it worth it?

Playing sports may do more harm than good


Crowds cheering and booing, referees always making the “wrong call” and gross food you will regret later is just part of the charm of going to watch sporting events in person. Many people anxiously crowd their televisions to appreciate sports, and to watch highlights of their favorite plays and such. Sports are very interesting to watch, however, is the world’s consumerism of sports doing more harm than good? Is pushing players to their limits physically and mentally just for a fun few hours justifiable? 

Average sports viewers have seen many injuries in their days, ranging from a bloody nose or a sprained ankle, all the way to career-ending injuries, such as, torn ACLs, blown knees, neck injuries and a variety of other horrible things.

A scare for many may be the fact that rookies or new players could possibly get a career-ending injury. What would the player do in that situation? Even injuries that may seem meaningless, such as a concussion, may debilitate players and force them to retire. This may seem hard to believe, but it was a harsh reality for Adrian Coxson. Rookie receiver for the Packers back in 2015, attended the training camps and received a major concussion, leading to his retirement. His injury was so severe that one more blow to the head could have resulted in death.

Although the majority of the injuries in national sports are not career-ending, many are anxiety-inducing and sometimes life-threatening. More recently, Damar Hamiln, the safety on the Buffalo Bills, went into cardiac arrest after a legal hit. Thankfully, Hamlin recovered quickly and is doing well. Although it does not seem to be the case for Hamlin, many players may become depressed or may show signs of mental illness when injured. 

“While most injuries can be managed with little to no disruption in sport participation and other activities of daily living, some impose a substantial physical and mental burden… the psychological response to injury can trigger or unmask serious mental health issues such as depression, anxiety, disordered eating, and substance use or abuse,” stated. 

Not only do players reveal symptoms of various mental illnesses during or after an injury, but it may also just be down on the field, or on the court. Multiple players have been more and more candid about their dealings with anxieties and depressions brought on by the sports and the intensity of it all. 

“You can easily get depressed. Usually, if you play sports, you think that one match or one game is very important, and when you lose it, you think your whole world is over,” tennis player Naomi Osaka said. 

The idea of there not being any more sports teams is simply outrageous. While physical injuries may be hard to control, mental illnesses are easier to be confined and controlled. Some ways to help could be for teams to start looking into therapists for their players, injured or not. This could even increase their gameplay. 

From, they state “I think at a very basic level it’s [mental health issues] a distraction,” says Dr. Sacco, “At the very minimum, if your mind is full of other things, then it can just be a distraction.” 

Whenever a player is not there 100% mentally, they may as well be physically injured. Injuries are so frequent in sports that many may wonder if sports really mean that much. Although sports may be fun to watch it may not always be worth it.