Letters to the Editor,
The Daily Yomiuri,
Chuo-ku, Tokyo 104-8243
In the April 8, 2011 article “Japan looking to sports to help rebuild country,” Japanese Olympic Association vice-president Masato Mizuno is quoted using words like “inspire,” “encourage,” “aspire,” and “morale.” Maybe it’s my own eccentricity, but mandatory physical education in school set me firmly against organized team sports long ago, antagonistic towards educators who speak of the presumed health and social value of sports, and the professional sports community - athletes, managers, sponsors, media, etc. - who promote, perform, market, eulogize and evangelize organized team sports in the world. It’s more than enough! Organized team sports are bad! They are morally evil, socially destructive and teach nothing of value to people young and old. Sports are a hobby, an entertainment, a distraction from more serious matters of life, that is all, and words like “inspire,” “encourage,” “aspire,” and “morale” are all exactly opposite of what I witness and have experienced in sports. These are key words that indicate the pretense surrounding the topic. Sports advocates have their heads buried too deep in a fantastic, and false, myth. Their whole world view is so slanted that they can’t help themselves anymore.
Even in the best of times I oppose aspirations to host Olympic Games and other sporting events as among the worst ideas a country, a city, a school can muster. Even more so now in Japan after the triple crisis of earthquake, tsunami and nuclear damage. Major sporting events might flood the country with cash, and cash is a tool that can be used for reconstruction. But the reconstruction will be done by my role models - engineers, carpenters, teachers, doctors, nurses, firemen, factory workers, soldiers, fishermen, and truck drivers - not by athletes, and not by Olympic Committee presidents and vice-presidents.
Of course, I could be wrong.