The recognition, the fame, the million-pound contracts. There is a lot to be desired when it comes to athletes. From their lifestyles, to their social lives, team and solo-sport athletes are put on a pedestal.
A pedestal that works both for and against the athlete. A good example is the recent loss that British boxer Anthony Joshua experienced on September 25th. He lost his IBF, WBA, WBO and IBO belts to Ukrainian Oleksandr Usyk. The second defeat of his career (a career that has had 22 KO’s might I add) but what amazed me was the reaction of the public. the same set of individuals that are usually looking up to Joshua, puppy dog eyes and all.
The turn of feelings towards the boxer was a surprise, what was once love and best wishes. Suddenly changed to hate, ridicule and resentment.
This is why I say, to be in the public eye in any way shape or form. You need to be thick-skinned and to be sure of yourself and your skills/abilities. For the fact that, companionship, fan love and positive attention can all disappear in a blink of an eye.
As one of the best super villains ever created once said…
“The one thing they love more than a hero, is to see a hero fail”Green Goblin,
The masses are quick to turn their back on an individual they once praised and it’s confusing. Maybe because of the pedestal we put them on, we forget that they are just human beings. The same as you and I, and human beings make mistakes. There are bumps in the road during every individuals journey.
There has been a significant push recently concerning mental health in sport. From the situation surrounding the EURO’s 2020 Final and the recent adopting of dissertation-esque apologies that athletes are composing on social media now. It feels like athletes are afraid of making mistakes, or being anything less than perfect, in fear of being the brunt of serious online backlash.
An athlete shouldn’t be judged or ridiculed for the mistakes they make, but rather judged in how they pick themselves up and recover from said mistakes. That shows you the type of character and personality an individual has.
And remember, there is a human being behind the athlete.