The modern diet and training can build a perfect athlete of the modern times but the athlete cannot match the ancient Greece athlete with respect to fitness. Introduction The ancient Greek culture has to be gratified for its participation in developments in athletes. Much of the progress achieved so far owes compensation to this great nation. The ancient athletes had a purely recreative notion for the games whereby physical exercises in addition to honor for their gods.The concept of athletes has changed in orientation moving from the sense of physical and recreation exercise to commercial undertakings. This field has undergone high levels of development to the extent that athletes are the most highly paid cadres of the society facilitating them to ascend to very high profiles.
This essentially brings other complications of crime, violence, deviance and drug cases and the way the society perceives athletes is totally different from the other members of the society. Athletes in Ancient Greece and TodayFor the ancient Greece, once in occasions, drinking of alcoholic beverages was in order but sugar and bread was prohibited proper and careful feeding was on their forefront incorporating meat and figs for desert to build muscle and stamina. Today diets incorporate tomatoes, corn, vanilla or chocolate. Games were so popular to the extent of halting battles temporarily during an athletic competition. Huge vessels and painting on amphoras were awarded as prizes in the games. There were no second place prizes, no team sports while flogging was the penalty to fouls. In games nude were the performers.All these high levels esteem on ancient Greece athlete was eroded by the coming of Christianity.
The ancient Greek athletes were pure both in mind and body. The love for physical exercises, fair competition and honor to their gods were the prime motives behind their training and competitions in sports. The scenario is totally different today. In the ancient Greece an intimate relationship between politics, nationalism, commercialism and athletics existed. The ancient games were much better than ours today, more fairer, more square, less money oriented, and less political.The ancient Greece were great athletes a fact epitomized by stadiums wherever their mark is traceable.
The importance of athletes in ancient Greece is as signified the period of the Ancient Greek which was taken to being with the date of the first recorded Olympic Games in 776 BC. (Miller, 2004, 16). Today however promotion of harmonious relations, mutual understanding and friendship among participants and fans is promoted through an establishment of a cultural program. Athletes today plays the part of inspiration to the world through peaceful competitions.Culture’s View of Athletes While participating in training for competition athletes discarded clothing and the pioneering athletes won an abnormally high proportion of prizes because their bodies were not restricted by clothing. The pioneers were the Greek Spartans. This developed the tradition of nudity as integral part of the Olympic games.
This culture’s view was banned by the Christians who saw Olympic as a pagan ceremony but later about 1500 years later the ban was lifted but Olympics were performed without nudity. (p. 219).The word ‘Gym’ meaning gymnasium is a Greek word with the meaning of ‘naked’ and it stuck on since ancient Greece performed and practiced sports and games while naked at a time when nudity was a normal practice and a non-punishable offence. Violence, Defiance and Drug Abuse in Athletes Violence In sports violence is a device aiding violation of norms and rules of the contest, threatens lives and property and usually cannot be anticipated by the persons affected.
(p. 9). Societal, institutional and personal issues are critical causes of many athletes to value violence.Violence has been observed to be the tactic of the most upright and respected group of the society. Due to the persistence of violence in athletes immunity has built up for the norm and is considered a habitual and normal occurrence in athletes. Sports attracts controversy due to participants and fans patriotism and issues of violence, and noting after unforeseen results are encountered.
According to public opinion it is assumed that the violence of sport makes its participants violent in the society. (p.14). They are trained to be violent and this is carried to their homes. Defiance Thought, action or feeling against social standards or expectations reflects deviance. In particular reference to sports deviance arises from; ignorance to the rules resulting to unintentional deviance; rules may contradict each other or be misunderstood; or out of strains and pressures. To depart from norm and going against societal standards reflects deviance.
Deviance in sport decreases with increased level of competition.Elements of deviance include compulsive or self destructive, use of performance enhancing drugs, viewing the goal of winning as the end to justify the means, various crimes that are less violent. (p. 63). Drug Abuse among Athletes Athletes are recorded to mishandle drugs especially during cases where the athlete is self medicating himself for minor illness. The practice is as old as the beginning of athletics. Drugs for meaningful treatment such as coughs and cold may contain alcohol and when the drugs are used by the athletes without proper instruction, the athletes may participate in spectator capacities.
Intentional drug abuse is evident in some participants for reasons of altering performance or covering other drug effects. In the ancient Greece herbs and mushrooms were used to improve the performance of the athletes. This dates back to the first Olympics 776 BC (p. 16) but the problem escalated later. Drug abuse has been a cause of death.
Drug abuse in sports is driven by the pressure to win. Since the rewards associated with winning one game is so treasurers that the athlete can do anything aiming for success.The other factor contributing to the escalating drug abuse among athletes is their purchasing powers. Most of these drugs are very expensive and due to the nature of financial capabilities among these athletes, cost is not a factor to them. Their celebrity nature also makes further contributions since this nature allows them to have private lives and therefore most of the deeds they pass through are not exposed to the public. The number and variety of drugs athletes use are also alarming. The three phenomena discussed above exhibit some relationship.
All at last are oriented to deviance. To elaborate them further there is a need to explore some causal theories so that they are well understood in the true context. Theoretical Explanations A theory of deliquence focuses no patterns of differential association whereby deviant behavior is learnt from fellow individual within a cultural setting. ‘Socialization into delinquent and criminal behavior occurs in much the same way that one leans to be a conformist or any other social behavior. ’ (p.
123).This is Differential Association Theory. Another theory looks at the negativism and anti-establishment values, norms and behaviors that are inherent in the delinquent subculture. (p.
140). A rebellion flowing from the foresight of benefits deficiency received from school and resentment of punitive sanctions represents the delinquent behavior. Some positive recognition at the public level and self-satisfaction is the current reward for participation in sports. (p.
147). This is the Sub-cultural Theory of Deviance.Social control agents social determination of deviance accounts for another theory; the labeling theory. ‘Social groups create deviance by making the rules whose infraction constitutes deviance, and by applying those rules to particular people and labeling them as outsiders. ’ (p. 11). Rules applications and sanctions by significant others to an offender results to the consequences of this theory. The theory is applicable when defining the behavior of poor minority groups such as athletes defined as good kids while their acts are referred to as mischievous pranks.
(p. 19). Yet the Control Theory has assumptions of delinquent behavior controlled by social control mechanisms; believed to develop from internally ideals such as basing personal identity on the perception of law abiding or conformist or external ideals about oneself such as those coming from external agencies such as churches, schools or families whereby the social linkages from these associations are satisfying; thus violation of these norms threatens individual participation in them. (p. 93).
High Profile Athletes and CrimeMost of the athletes like many celebrities have funny backgrounds in that their earlier lives were characterized by poverty thus they are viewed have limited ability for logical thoughts, players have been known to be beacons for criminal activities. Sometimes it is likely to wrongly label a player as a criminal or thug. Before the recent spurt of sports, criminal justice athletes seemed to have the freedom to commit crimes at their discretion.
With their high profile lifestyles athletes live, it is not uncommon to see several athletes arrested each week.Athletes are in a position to play positive role models for respectable and non-criminal behavior. They have great potential to influence youth. In case they are convicted fro crimes, especially the most common violence against women, they must be held responsible for all acts of violence, criminality and abuse. They are in unique position to communicate positive anti-violence messages to the public. (p. 73). There has been an increase in public interests in high profile athletes’ criminal cases.
The crimes of these professional athletes are held to a higher standard of conduct than average members of the public and as a result they are vulnerable to aggressive prosecution not shared by other members of the society. The privacy rights in some circumstances outweigh the presumption of openness in judicial proceedings hence the defendant proceeds anonymously throughout the trial. Further the extent and nature of pretrial news coverage in these cases is very intensive and prejudicial to the defendant.
The public has been unfairly stereotyping athletes due to the fact that participating in athletes makes athletes more prone to being violent and especially, gender violent. (p. 89). However, it is as well true that so many cases of athletes have been found to commit assaults against girls and women. Most of the crimes associated with athletes and their coaches are related to assault and rape against women. They are included into the problems of sexual assault but the problem is not athletes.
The real social context of the few athletes who commit crime should be addressed to eradicate distortions. At the same time the misleading perceptions need to be corrected for the truth to surface. However, high profile athletes gain advantage against conviction since the judiciary accepts that due to their celebrity or wealth, they can be targets of false allegations. Their financial resources adds to their advantage since they can hire more experienced lawyers than most defendants can afford.Courts for ever have allowed party anonymity in civil trials intended to protect the substantial plaintiffs’ privacy and this should be extended to the high profile athletes’ criminal cases since they also possess privacy rights and fairness rights that as well require protection during judicial trials. This is healthy to protect the pretrial publicity connected to these high profile athletes cases hence continued influence negative picture.
The court final decision should be impartial. (p. 91-117). Conclusion The lives and times of an athlete are very trying.The degree of transformation both from individual context to the team context is also fascinating. The transcendence from poverty to celebrity has been evident in the lives of many.
This characteristic owes its origin from the game itself. The initiators had a purely physical exercise and recreation notion while today it is one of the top in the list activity that can generate money within a very short time. This fact makes athletes to be a focus in the society and a very significant centre of interest. Reference Stephen G. Miller (2004). Ancient Greek Athletics.
Vale University Press. ISBN-13:978-0300100839.