The exploitation of youngsters is prevalent around the world and whilst we hear about the success stories of the child stars those that were sacrificed go forgotten
Ritual sacrifice is one of the few things you can’t bet on at ComeOn! Sportsbook, and I’m sure just as soon as an organized league can be put together, and the squeamishness of those who legislate American or British or even Danish gambling laws is roundly eradicated, and they find a way to introduce a plethora of all but meaningless statistics that shiny faced pundits can discuss on the TV coverage we’ll soon be seeing the Saturday Night Slaughter on our screens and betting slips.
Does Sport Sacrifice Youth?
• Young talent farmed for profit
• Hypocrisy and denial
• Danish bunny bludgeoned
This might seem a tad far-fetched, the plot of a Hunger Games-esque science fiction movie, where a fight to the death symbolizes the malaise of our own society’s lack of humanity or whatever other spurious explanation the director came up with for a series of action sequences, some mild nudity and some stereotyping of the most blatant variety, however we already have the ethos of sacrifice running through the sporting world.
Don’t believe me? Check out the ridiculous exploitation of college basketball players, enslaved to a system that makes old white men richer than they already were at the expense of the health, wellbeing and education of the young men involved in the playing of the actual game. The quantities of money involved are phenomenal and yet barely any of it trickles down into the pockets of those making the effort, the lame excuses of those in charge still hollow and guilt laden.
They’re willing to sacrifice young men on the altar of commercialized college basketball, placing huge pressures on them whilst giving them little or nothing in return except the illusionary possibility that they might one day play in the NBA, something a very small percentage actually get to do. Is college basketball stopped for this flagrant farming of sporting talent for profits taken in the form of facilities, grants and other commercial deals? Of course not.
Young Sports Stars Sacrificed
As a species we are often all too willing to overlook the suffering of others, this goes double for foreigners, young people, old people or anyone who differs from us in a religious, political or cultural manner. Signing a Facebook petition doesn’t really stop child soldiers being forcibly enlisted in guerilla armies across the world, child prostitution is not halted by sensationalist investigative journalism pieces with hidden camera footage on the news, and hot housing athletes won’t ever stop either.
Youngsters thrown into any professional-esque sport will find themselves under a strain than few of the contemporaries will experience. Max Verstappen drove a Formula 1 car head first into a wall at the age of just 17, just last weekend, the pressure of Sainte Devote evidently too much for the young man in the Torro Rosso. Tiger Woods, Boris Becker, Pele and Ronnie O’Sullivan are just some of those that began so young and went so far, but what of those we no longer remember that tried the same?
For all the emerging young stars that grab the headlines, be they in sport or even acting, there are hundreds of others that put in the time, the effort and made the sacrifice but got all but nothing back for their time and energy. Discarded these people often find the transposition back to a life before their attempt at stardom tricky, and the shattered dream can be hard to relinquish. Do we recoil in horror from the sports we love because of this inherent toll in suffering?
Not even close. We are willing to show concern by throwing money at the appropriate charity, our monthly donation of just so little supposedly alleviating so much guilt in the blind eye we turn the rest of the time. We are all gambling news of the end to these shameful practices and commonalities of the world appears before they impinge upon us or those we know, but in the meantime we’re only too willing to enjoy the fruits of this barbarism
Danish DJ Kills Alan On Air
As a species our hypocrisy is tantamount to criminal ranging from thinking that our wars that wreak terrorism are worse that terrorists who make war upon us, to finding some animals acceptable to eat and others delightful pets we’d not dream of scoffing down even were we starving to death. Recently a Danish radio presenter Asger Juhl brought a nine week old rabbit called Alan into the studio and then clubbed it to death with a bicycle pump, planning to take it home for dinner.
An animal rights activist, Linse Kessler, brought along for the broadcast sensed ahead of time where things were headed and physically pursued Juhl around the studio in a vain attempt to rescue the rabbit from the evil clutches of a shock-jock on Radio24syv. The twittersphere exploded, the Facebook fraternity went into melt down and Reddit raved. The hypocrisy in our relationship to different animals as messed up as the relationship with have with young sportsmen and women.
Those that like to bet on sport in Denmark might be only too willing to take satisfaction from having backed Morocco’s Hassane Ahouchar when he won the recent Copenhagen Marathon in 24 seconds over two and a quarter hours, but how many amongst the 12,000 runners on Sunday from 75 different nations could claim young athletes in their country are treated well, supported and nurtured, not hot housed and used to grow the bottom line for corporate sponsors?
Like one of the worst casinos in the world we’ve made the games we wager on out of the shattered dreams of youth, and whilst one in a million gets to be like Martin Odegaard at Real Madrid or Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain for Arsenal, the rest are just wastage in a system rapidly being overwhelmed by corporate interests and the demands of business competition not just sporting competition, and whilst we the public might suffer a little through this exploitation the young competitors get it far worse.