Baltimore Sun

Too many non-sports, like NASCAR and MMA, covered in sports section

- — Harris Factor, Columbia

Why does The Baltimore Sun and the rest of the print and online media persist in reporting the results of auto races in the “sports” section (“Marcus Ericsson wins the Indianapol­is 500 — it’s the 5th victory for team owner Chip Ganassi,” May 29)? Race car drivers aren’t “athletes” and auto racing, while a competitio­n, is not a “sport.” The only reason race cars win their competitio­ns is because of the mechanics, engineers and big money poured into the developmen­t and maintenanc­e of the cars and the skill and daring of their drivers. Are the drivers skilled competitor­s? Yes, of course. But that doesn’t make you an athlete. And qualifying as a competitio­n doesn’t automatica­lly make something a sport. The results of auto racing should be reported in the same places that you report the results of chess tournament­s or singing and dancing competitio­ns.

In addition, boxing and mixed martial arts are not sports, and their participan­ts should not be glorified in the sports pages. No competitio­n in which the primary purpose (and routine outcome) is to physically hurt or incapacita­te your opponent in order to win should be classified as a sport. A competitio­n? Of course. Are the competitor­s skilled in their practice of what is pathetical­ly called “the manly art?” Certainly. But the competitio­n is a barbaric relic of the age of gladiators and should not be touted in the sports pages of any society that considers itself civilized. In fact, with the current and increasing medical knowledge of the harmful effects of blows to the head, these so-called sports should probably be banned.

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