The Social Importance of Sports


Whether you’re a fan, a participant or an observer, sports play a major role in American society. They are not just fun; they also transmit values of teamwork and fair play.

For some, sports are a defining aspect of their lives. For others, they are a way to express their national identity. Regardless of your reasons, sports are an important way to develop social interactions and to learn about other societies.

Sports have been a social glue since antiquity. They can reinforce or undermine hegemonic social relations. They also transmit values of fair play, teamwork and justice. In addition, they have helped build a national identity.

Athletes train systematically to achieve physical maximum. They also internalize scripts from coaches. They may break rules to gain advantage.

In competitive events, judges score participants based on “results” and “weight.” In some sports, ties are broken using penalties or handicaps. In others, results are subjective.

Feelings, however, are a key component of a sports experience. Emotions may occur before, during or after a performance. They are guided by the subculture of sport and by the players’ own perceptions of others’ evaluations.

Emotions help forge a link between sports and national identity. They can also help manage the emotional state of the fans. Sports are also instrumental in forging racial integration. Several sports leagues make a champion each year by arranging a number of contests.

Some people stop participating in sports later in life. Others are not athletes due to their age, motivation or character.