SPORT: Professional sport
Sport is a complex social phenomenon; no single definition would encompass, explain and clarify all its elements and study approaches. The real question is what sport is and what its purpose is. Is sport a game, competition, activity, invitation, entertainment, or spectacle?
Sport can be anything, from a game to a spectacle. The whole mess around defining sport lies in that sport is described as a game and a structured activity. Professional sports are classified at the top level and are separated from recreational and educational sports. An essential element that characterizes professional sports is the competitive element. Then, with willpower and coordination, athletes achieve what is not equally accessible to everyone.
Despite the problems in defining the term, sport is recognized as a fundamental social and cultural phenomenon. As such, sport is shaped by social reality. It is crucial to mention that sport is part of reality and social relations. Sport has a role in which it is involved in all world political and socioeconomic trends. The best example is that Qatar, as an insignificant football nation, is the host of the FIFA World Cup currently being held in that country.
The attitude towards professional sports can be divided into three domains: attitude towards professional athletes, professional sports as a form of socialization of children, and professional sports as a social institution. These attitudes have more subdomains, but we will stick to the main domains.
The attitude toward professional athletes can often be unclear, but from the very attitude towards them, you can get a picture of professional sports. A professional athlete is any person who devotes most of his time to practice the skills and knowledge needed to compete and achieve top results in a particular sport. They are paid by the club for which he competes and is one of the primary sources of income for the athlete. In addition to the primary income (salary of athletes), there are also incomes from various partnerships with companies, namely sponsors. As such, professional athletes are individuals who are faced with all kinds of possibilities, ranging from heroes to losers. And vice versa.
When we talk about the attitude of professional athletes, we can see them as part of an “institution”, and each of them is a “brand”. Regardless of the situation, many athletes can be heroes in their own right. One example is Cristiano Ronaldo, who is not doing very well this season and is in an enviable situation considering the brand he has built as a player. The fashion company Louis Vuitton hired him for the “Victory is a state of mind” campaign together with the Argentinian forward Lionel Messi, which was also their first photo together as such.
When we talk about professional athletes, then we should watch them since childhood. There are always various controversies surrounding the socialization of children into professional sports. Sport is a vital segment of the educational process. This process directs children to exercise from elementary school, which can lead them to professional sports. In the last few years, elementary and high school competitions have become increasingly popular at all national levels.
Socialization through competitive sports can prove essential, including crucial socialization within the family and school. From a young age, children learn how to communicate, fulfill all their obligations, respect the rules, how to treat defeat and victory. In this way, they assert themselves in a new but sporty environment. By learning ethics and rules of behavior in sports, children learn the laws of the game in society and the environment in which they find themselves. It is essential for parents to get involved with their children and to agree on the distribution of obligations that children have – school obligations and sports obligations.
Sport can be seen as a social institution. This can be understood as one side of social life where different value orientations, gathered around critical social topics, generate other relationships. This segment is crucial because people get involved in sports directly: as competitors, recreational players, coaches, and sports consumers. These people invest money and time in following sports events, statistics, strategies, etc.
Athletes are exploited for various purposes and are used to strengthen national identity. Sport can be used manipulatively to maintain collective identity but also social control. Sports can also be used for political action. Sports matches and competitions are used where the crowd unleashes its urges, which often results in violence. Sports can be both socializing and entertainment, and it is understood that sport is a topic for conversation, an invitation to socialize, and a common topic for people from different socioeconomic backgrounds.
Sport is vital for all levels of society. Parents must support their children in directing and controlling all obligations and professional athletes.