23 Feb

How I Think Sports Impair Human Evolution

I know I’m gonna catch a lot of flack for this post. History dictates that people (almost always) lose their capacity to reason when their way of life is challenged in any way, shape or form. It doesn’t even really matter why.

For example, if you were a doctor explaining to an overweight patient that they needed to eat less because it was causing the majority of their health problems, they’d probably try to convince you (and themselves) that it had absolutely nothing to do with over eating. If you were a scientist trying to warn the populous that the continued rise of carbon emissions was the main contributor to global warming AND back it up with hard, cold, scientific evidence, you’d immediately be attacked by a gaggle of lobbyists working day and night to discredit you. This type of behavior doesn’t just apply to our present day. If you had proposed that the earth revolved around the sun in the 1500’s (as opposed to the sun revolving around the earth, which is what the church vehemently dictated) you’d be threatened with torture and/or death. If you’d passed a law in the 1800’s which stated that people were no longer allowed to own slaves, you’d likely be shot.

These examples are a glaring indication that human beings don’t give up the things they believe in so easily, even though they have been proven (medically, scientifically or morally) wrong. The fact is, people either don’t want to believe that they’re wrong and they have no desire whatsoever to give up the things they feel entitled to, even when those things impose on another human being’s way of life. They will fight tooth and nail and often without conscience or reservation to protect what they feel is theirs.

Or they’ll just kill you.

Martin Luther King Jr. was killed because he fought for equality for African Americans. John Lennon was murdered because he wrote music about peace during wartime. Ghandi was gunned down after freeing India from British Rule. The same happened to JFK because he had ideas about changing the country in ways that someone obviously didn’t like (he was planning to shut down the Federal Reserve). The list goes on and on. But the fact still stands, they were right.

And so I say again. I believe sports are a contributing factor to the impaired evolution of human beings.

Now before you lose your shit, please know that I very much appreciate the entertainment aspect of sports and I COMPLETELY understand why people love them. I know that people who work the daily grind want/need a way to escape and have a little fun. As an entertainer, I know how important it is for people to have something that helps them detach from the often depressing routine of their daily lives. I, myself try to give music to people for that very reason. I’m also aware of people’s desire to be associated with a specific team because it provides them with a sense of belonging. Everyone wants to feel like they’re welcome somewhere.

So why do I think sports impair human evolution? Because it creates an obvious division between people.

Some of you will try to use my above statement about people, teams and their sense of belonging to claim that I’m contradicting myself, but I’m gonna stop you right there. Yes, it creates “families” of people who associate with specific teams, but it pits those families against each other. I was at a Super Bowl party with my friends earlier today. Now, I’m obviously not a football fan. To me, football just looks like a bunch of grown men in tights fighting over a pig skin ball. It seems ridiculous to me in so many ways. However, as a musician, I’ve seen a lot of ridiculous things happen on stage so I’m not here to presume that football is any more or less ridiculous than the music business. What I am here to discuss is how it, very obviously, creates a sense of superiority over others who don’t side with you. And not just football, but ALL sports – from amateur to professional. I watched a room full of friends quickly regress into cavemen, taking the game *way* too seriously and getting angry with one another when opposing teams were doing better than theirs.

Look, I know people were just having a little fun today, but have you ever heard the horror stories about Oakland Raiders fans? I’ve read articles about how fans of opposing teams have been shot and killed by Raiders fans just because they weren’t rooting for the Raiders. Acts of violence happen *all the time* at soccer (football) games in Europe. I could sit here all night and Google case after case of violence due to sports, but I don’t need to because it simply can’t be refuted. I’m not saying that every sports fan in the world is guilty of committing violent acts against others. What I *am* saying is until we stop advocating and/or glorifying the division between people, whether it’s sports, religion, race, or anything else that creates a sense of superiority based on differences, we will never learn how to work together to solve our problems.

Now, don’t confuse what I’m saying about sports as an attack on competitiveness. I think competition is a healthy and positive mechanism when it’s used in conjunction with helping to make people’s lives better and/or move the human race forward. A good example of this is the X-Prize foundation which is non-profit organization that designs and manages public competitions intended to encourage technological development that could benefit mankind. Another good example is the Nobel Peace Prize. The fact of the matter is, competition has brought us some wonderful innovation over the years.

I originally intended to go a little deeper into this subject, but I’d be willing to bet that a lot of you have already skimmed past the parts you didn’t like and made your judgements. I’ve made my point. It’s either thought provoking to you or it’s not. Either way, I challenge you to think about it objectively and imagine a world where we don’t create any more self imposed division between one another that compounds what our world and religious leaders *already* impose on us.

“United we stand, divided we fall.” ~ Aesop

– Scott