Over the past 50-60 years, the law has played an increasingly pivotal role in sports and recreation. I think we realize this, at an organic level, but we don’t really talk about it, or think about it, until we are forced to – and we usually think we won’t ever have to, and/or, we hope we are never be forced to.
Just ask Rick Pitino and all those other coaches.
But let’s not go there, directly. Let us take a more circuitous, scenic route…
Do the ideals of the law tend us toward safer or better delivery of more thrilling participation in sports and recreation? Oh my, what a thick and rich question! The answer – in theory, is yes, definitely. In practice, it is definitely, sometimes – as in, sometimes yes, sometimes no.
Oft times, insuring safety and/or better, more thrilling sports and recreation can be likened to driving a car that handles like a shopping trolley (or cart, or buggy, depending on where you are in your global-geographical expression orientation). Not surprisingly, for fair-mindedness of this, the answer to that earlier thick and rich question is…we rely on Lady Justice.
And much to our delight, Lady Justice is a mysterious one. Some things about her just cannot be known. Like, how did she get that sly look, like a kid cheating at hide-and-seek?
Perhaps you disagree – and would hold to belief that she does not have that look – well, what would you call it then? Relentless cheerfulness? No. Not even.
So – let’s break down something we do know about Lady Justice…
Question: Why does Lady Justice wear a blindfold?
And for a “where the rubber meets the road, and the mop meets the floor” answer, try this on…
She’s wearing a blindfold to limit the chances that decisions will be based on anything other than the facts and the law.
Wait, wait, wait! What about feelings? Feelings!! Yes!?! Feelings!?! Well…
Of course, feelings play into it – decisions of justice – but, they’re not supposed to – and, an overall message meant by the blindfold is this: the law requires that legal matters strive not to feel; but rather, also, while striving not to feel, do strive to think, and to demonstrate rationale.
It may fairly be said then, that decisions based on thoughts are generally more rational than those based on feelings. Perhaps you agree? Further, the law does not discriminate according to faith. Decisions based on feelings may fairly be said to be faith-based, at some level. And, the opposite of faith is not doubt, it is reason.
By Dr. Rodney J. Blackman
Dr. Rodney J. Blackman is the Chair of Recreation Management at the United States Sports Academy, and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.