Discontented British cyclists and the media have been having a heyday going after British Cycling and Team Sky. It would appear that the Brits have an unhealthy appetite for accusations, gossip, and slander equal to their North American counterparts. The typical strategy for the disgruntled and the media is to continue to sling mud at someone or something until it sticks. For an ordinary mortal to sift for truth amongst the muck and mire being thrown at these historically successful institutions is almost an impossible task.
Nevertheless, every once in a while someone makes a profound comment on a news story to counter the perpetually negative political correctness and asinine feeding frenzy that takes place in the public realm.
The best comment I have read concerning British Cycling, and disputes and conflicts in general, is here:
“Perhaps professional sports is not the place for you if you are a thin- skinned cupcake and contemporary society seems to be producing cupcakes on one long assembly line.
The training of serious world-class athletes requires a hard, no-nonsense attitude on the part of the coaches and in my experience, virtually every athlete that is passed over for selection believes he or she deserved the spot that was given to some one else. It is human nature.
And British Cycling, whether you agree with all of their personnel, personalities and programs has been wildly successful, beyond measure, so the idea that it was dysfunctional is ludicrous. It is this type of “dysfunction” that every other national program in the world would love to have, Olympic medals by the ton and one rainbow jersey after another. Just wildly dysfunctional!
Disputes and differences of opinion don’t all have to we chalked up to sexism, racism or accusations one of the endless number of other “isms” that are used to destroy people’s lives and careers in the quick take world of cyber bullies fixing their sights on person or institution.
All it seems to take is a single quote or two, a leaden joke – one that is disputed or unproven in many cases – a person’s life is over. It makes the Social Justice Warriors happy of course, but they have become precisely the sort of bullies that they claim to be out to eradicate, a digital lynch mob.
Relationships between athletes and coaches, just like friendships and romantic relationships can and often do deteriorate over time as resentments on both sides pile up. And, what and whom can motivate an athlete at one stage of their career may not be able to as they mature. Jealousy, one of the most powerful – and often irrational – of human emotions also rears its head as younger athletes challenge the established ones. You see these same sort of problems between musicians and teachers, performers and managers, bandleaders and bandsmen, again because close human relationships are the most difficult thing in the world to maintain.
It is difficult to reconcile the experiences of Dani King with those who portray Mr. Sutton as some sort of arm-swinging Neanderthal, so one has to suspect that much of it no more than a large helping of sour grapes from athletes whose personal relationship with him soured over time or who were passed over for athletes who were younger and dare it be said, perhaps had attitudes that made them easier to work with, because we call know that attitude is as much part of sport as what is in the legs, lungs and heart.”
Jonathan Swift Jr.
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