The ‘drugs in sport’ scandal that has possibly smeared the reputation of most professional sports this week appears to be especially problematic in Australian Rules football. Allegations of systematic doping, organised crime and match fixing are hard to navigate in the absence of proof, at the moment, but many are either running scared or talking tough (“We will catch you,” after not having done so for years? We’ll see!).
This whole scenario may be amounting to a case of declaring the elephant in the room. It seems that many have long believed the AFL competition to be corrupted by illicit drug-taking. Although there has been just one case of a player having been caught and banned to date, several unnamed players are already on a second offence under the controversial three-strikes-and-you’re-out policy. Some feel that the Lance Armstrong revelations offered a proof case for the notion that the big dollars in top-level sport have funded and motivated a cheating of the system that has managed to bypass testing.
Although, the reasons for this are probably clear, we can’t jump the gun where people and clubs have not been specifically proven to be in breach of the law. We can, however, note the Bible’s timeless truth that, “the love of money is the root of all evil” (1 Timothy 6:10) and we have to wonder if the big business of sport has for many years, albeit in different ways, compromised some people’s perspective. Does immediate gain, for example, ever warrant years of potential medical complications? Can life truly be enjoyed if it is built on compromised values or dishonesty? After all, “What does it profit a man to gain the whole world and lose his soul? (Mark 8:36)”.
It is a timely reminder for all of us to live our lives in the light of what is truly important and to gain some eternal ‘big picture’ perspective. When you ‘can’t take it with you’, then what is the point of embracing the ‘love of money’?!