Have you ever played a game with someone and their behavior negatively affected your enjoyment of the game? It is likely that this person has bad sportsmanship, in any sport or competitive activity it is important that all participants have good sportsmanship. Good sportsmanship promotes happiness, trust, and overall enjoyment of the activity. Bad sportsmanship can lead to conflict, anger, and resentment for the other people involved.

     NASCAR has almost always been in the spotlight for bad sportsmanship, for years there were fights between drivers, all while other cars still zipped past on the race track. Drivers would wreck accidentally, and their lack of good sportsmanship would lead to brawls on the infield and in the pits. This causes a danger not only to the drivers, but to the others still racing as well, these fights can be a distraction that can cause another wreck to happen. If the two men could settle things in a civil manner and off the track, things would not be as dangerous.

     Apart from the physical altercations that bad sportsmanship can cause, there is the subject of sore winners. NASCAR driver Kyle Busch won a custom, hand painted, Gibson Les Paul as a trophy for one of his races. The first thing he did was smash the guitar on the ground at the finish line of the race. That is disrespectful and distasteful, and an insult to the name of sportsmanship. This incident was a let down to his fans, and to the creator and painter of the guitar. People who were big fans of Kyle jumped ship after seeing this display of horrible sportsmanship. A good sportsman would have shaken the hand of who presented it to him, and been humble about the experience. Humility is key in achieving good sportsmanship.

     It is understandable in sports to become excited. Emotions, primal instinct, and adrenaline run high when someone is competing against one another. There is something inside all of our bodies that wants to win: however, we cannot allow this instinct to take over our own humanity. Winning games is not life or death. It is important that all players remember the purpose, fun. Therefore it is important that we do not harm our competition, physically or mentally based on the outcome of these games.

      Good sportsmanship means that we appreciate the success and the struggle of winning and losing. A good sportsman will not put their competitor down. They will help them up after a fall, they will congratulate on a job well done, they will not resent if they lose and they will not brag if they have won. A good sportsman will enjoy the game, and avoid conflict. A good sportsman will be a good human to his or her opponent, and in the end will come out better. Win or lose.

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