Friday, June 18, 2010

VERITAS: FUMBLE - AND FROM THE OTHER SIDE OF THE WORLD OF SPORTS...

This week's perspective from Joe Chidley:

Lying is never a good policy. It is doubly a bad policy in a cultural context that demands personal integrity and high moral standards. Consider (just in case you haven’t lately) sumo wrestling. In Japan, the double-wide dreadnoughts of the sumo doyho are treated with the kind of respect and pampering typically reserved for demi-gods, royalty, and Kobe beef cattle. In return, they are expected to live by the sumo’s strict code of conduct, both on and off the ring. So as news broke that gambling on baseball (among other illegal activities) is widespread among sumo wrestlers, their handlers and their hairdressers (seriously), the sport has been shaken to its very foundations. The scandal got its start with Kotomitsuki, a wrestler who this week was more or less voluntarily suspended from the upcoming Nagoya Grand Sumo Tournament and who is indefinitely banned from sumo pending a police investigation. But Kotomitsuki’s shame is compounded by the fact that he initially denied any involvement in gambling when questioned by police. So now he’s not just a gambler in the public mind, but a liar. It recalls a case of poor conduct in another field of sport where a premium is put on integrity – namely, golf. (Remember Tiger Woods?) Fumble, Kotomitsuki and whoever was giving him advice.

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