THE TRUE MEAN­ING OF SPORTS­MAN­SHIP

Today's Golfer (UK) - - First Tee -

Re­cent events in cricket have prompted me to re­flect on the price of vic­tory and one event which truly epit­o­mised hon­esty in sport. Back in 1925, Bobby Jones was com­pet­ing as an am­a­teur in the US Open and called a penalty shot upon him­self. The con­se­quence for him on that day was not vic­tory, but a de­feat by one shot. What we can all learn from this was Bobby Jones’ abid­ing be­lief in in­tegrity, no mat­ter what the cost. When con­grat­u­lated by of­fi­cials, he said: “You may as well praise a man for not rob­bing a bank.” Per­haps all ath­letes – am­a­teurs and pro­fes­sion­als – should carry the in­tegrity that Jones showed like a ‘Jiminy Cricket’ con­science on their shoul­der. Five years later, he went on to win the grand slam of golf and be­come a leg­end. So, the price of in­tegrity? Vic­tory, of course.

STEPHEN MAXWELL

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