What price good sportsmanship?

Fans watching the final branded England as ‘sore losers’ and ‘unsportsmanlike’ for taking their medals off so quickly. Daily Mail

Poor losers- the petulant Poms

By Roger Childs

One of the worst sights on a playing field or court is bad sportsmanship. It is disappointing to lose, but no amount of weeping, complaining and petulance is going to change the result.

The top tennis payers set an excellent example of doing the right things. Once the final shot has been played, the beaten finalist moves quickly to the net and congratulates the winner with a hand shake and sometimes an embrace.

Most English players after the medal awards looked bored and disinterested

So it was appalling to see after the World Cup, many of the beaten English players looking sullen and being ungracious.

Were they reflecting on the millions of sterling that they were going to share as bonuses if they had been the winners?

The gestures of players refusing to have the second-placed medal put around their necks; others taking it off virtually straight away and few wearing them with pride, were insulting to their Japanese hosts, their fans and the South African winners.

Stand back and applaud the winners

The English team after the match looked as if they wanted to be somewhere else – get off the field, have a shower and get back to their plush hotel.

They were reluctant to line up for their second-place medals and seemed to be just going through the motions.

This was a day for the beaten finalists to swallow their disappointment and acknowledge the moment in history of a Black man brought up in a slum in Port Elizabeth, lifting the famous trophy aloft. He spoke of winning the World Cup for his country; the importance of people of different origin coming together and what can be achieved for nationhood through sport.

Let’s hear it for the winners!

We come from different backgrounds, different races, and we came together with one goal… I really hope that we’ve done that for South Africa… We can achieve anything if we pull together as one. Springbok Captain, Siya Kolisi

Many of the English players gave the impression that they were not playing for the folks back home, but for their own bank balances.

There was an arrogance and petulance in their behaviour which has no place in sport.

Furthermore it was discourteous to the Japanese who had laid on a magnificently run tournament, and instead of being gracious in defeat, some of the players behaved like insolent schoolboys.

Can’t help but agree with you Roger. Rugby about more than winning – it’s about respect, humility and comradeship. Sadly, the behaviour of English boys was well below the mark and reflected poorly on them and their whole group. And they wonder why other countries take undue pride in beating them (I may be understating the case slightly here). They need to be better than that!

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