Why do sportsmen cheat?

A footballer admits to overstating injury.pg-52-bloodgate-get_236552s

A rugby player chews a blood capsule to feign injury.

A Formula 1 driver is told to crash into a wall.

The BBC website is probably one of my most frequently visited site that I enjoy reading. The news articles, the weather forecast and obviously the sport pages. The BBC have their own sports blogs that look at current issues in the world of sport and the highlighted, high profile cheating has become a popular discussion over the past few months.

The latest topic is ‘why do sportsmen cheat?’ James Lowther an FA tutor and British Association of Sport and Exercise Sciences-accredited psychologist at Kingston University said…

drogba_dive“Competitors who are ego orientated [always comparing themselves to others] are prone to unsporting behaviour,” he says.

“This is often exasperated by a ‘win at all costs’ attitude in their sports environment.

“Some people are motivated by external rewards and are more likely to cheat. Others enjoy the sport and self-improvement and that is their motivation.”

“Bans may not make behaviour better on their own. It’s important for bodies such as the League Managers’ Association to lead the debate and take ownership and come up with initiatives, rather than wait for edicts from Fifa and Uefa.

“But we are seeing that governing bodies are more concerned with this issue, with the Football Association’s Respect campaign a prime example.”

So what is the answer to tackling this problem? Mike McNamee, former President of the International Association for the Philosophy of Sport and the founding Chair of the British Philosophy of Sport Association and founding Editor of Sport, Ethics and Philosophy, and professor at Swansea University thinks he has the solution…

“Players have to take more responsibility, but also coaches have to reinforce it,” McNamee adds.

“For that to happen it has to be in their best interest. If you start being very tough and imposing rules it won’t be long before someone tells their players to stop offending as it is hurting the team, but it has to start in the lower leagues so there is time for it to take effect.”site_37_rand_2052086205_lufti_310x175

So the reason people cheat is because we don’t have enough rules? This is the same answer to every one of the worlds problems it would seem. It tends to come down to either more ruler/laws or education. Do people really believe this? Surely more rules will equal in more cheating? Why do sportsmen cheat? Well, why does a husband lie to his wife? Why does a son disobey his mother? Why does a friend hurt a friend? Do we really not know ourselves? This is what the bible says about us…

“None is righteous, no, not one;
no one understands;
no one seeks for God.

All have turned aside; together they have become worthless;
no one does good,
not even one.

Their throat is an open grave;
they use their tongues to deceive.
The venom of asps is under their lips.

Their mouth is full of curses and bitterness.
Their feet are swift to shed blood;
in their paths are ruin and misery,

and the way of peace they have not known.

There is no fear of God before their eyes.”

schalk-burger_eye-gougeThere has always been cheating in sport. Our human nature is geared in that way. If we think we can get away with it then we will do it. The world of cycling has a reputation of drugs, footballers dive, the South African rugby team play on the edge of the law. Surely an acknowledgement of our sinful nature is the answer to the question the BBC ask. I am amazed that the idea of Jesus, the sinless perfect saviour, is ridiculous to many but more rules and education, that have never stopped this problems, is the solution and a satisfactory one at that. Very bizarre in my mind at least that such a conclusion can be accepted. Maybe this is just me.

The beauty of the gospel is made clear when we realise what we are. When we see that we are the man in Romans 3, that we are sinful and our nature is the opposite to God then we see how amazing Gods grace truly is. That while we were still sinners Jesus died for us. What is the answer then, well there is nothing we can do. We cannot motivate ourselves to live a good life, we must trust in Gods grace, and our hearts must be changed.


am Jamie, and I am a Christ follower. I love Jesus but more importantly he loves me and made the ultimate sacrifice of his son so that all the things I have done, and will do, have been forgiven. And now I know God, and I pursue to know him more. Motivated and transformed by his grace I live for God, to glorify him by enjoying him.

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One comment on “Why do sportsmen cheat?
  1. jonnyboy87 says:

    We’re all cheaters! Some are just better at hiding it than others. My favourite blatant cheat of all time has to be Rivaldo in world cup 2002 – classic.

    I’ve been on a long blogging holiday, but thinking about getting back in the game. Good to see you’re surviving without me 😉

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October 2009
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Dewi wants to know if he can have a load of uncle Sams sermons to listen to @saintbeagle @ammanfordchurch
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