The Amish and Old order Mennonites are known for their simple clothing and their simple homes and their simple life-style. Professional athletes need to learn from them. Why?
I saw it again last weekend when John Daly was battling Tiger Woods down the stretch, and I see it whenever (which is rare) I see someone in uniform for NASCAR, and I saw it again yesterday when I watched Annika Sorenstam, and it was also obvious with Lance Armstrong. Now there are some of us who dispute whether NASCAR and bike racing are genuine sports, since there is no ball involved, but I’ll drop the concern in this post.
The issue: the commercialization of what athletes wear. John Daly had 8 or 9 logos on his shirt, and Annika Sorenstam looks like Lance Armstrong, and NASCAR drivers — good grief they look like cartoons. Golfers wear hats with logos from investment companies and chain-stores and it goes on and on and on up and down the body. They look like Neon-light signs in Vegas instead of like someone who is dedicated to the sport. Here’s what I mean: a soccer uniform that is all advertisement.
Look at the professional baseball uniforms, and the professional football uniforms, and the professional basketball uniforms — and no one disputes that those athletes are participating in a sport. On those uniforms you have the colors of the team and everyone wears the same thing, and you have the team name and a number, and you may or may not have the player’s name on the back. That is all.
That’s the way it ought to be.
Enough with this advertisement. Some of the golfers get a certain number of dollars for every second the logo they are “sporting” (a false use of a term if ever there was one) appears on the TV screen.
Imagine pastors wearing “NIV” on each sleeve or “Doubleday” on their collar or, worse yet because it has nothing to do with what they are doing, “Nike” on their suit coat pocket. What if pastors and priests were asked to advertise the kind of wine (or grape juice) they serve in communion? We’d walk out.
And we should.
I’m for creating a society for simple sports in which an athlete is asked for the sake of the game and the purity of the sport to refrain from wearing anything on the clothing other than the company’s name who made that shirt or hat. Which, in most cases, just isn’t done.