Too often these days, fans and athletes alike focus on the negative side of sports, whether it's a fight that breaks out on the field or trash talk off the field. Still, there are many instances of athletes taking the high road and doing the right thing. Here are five perfect examples of athletes showing us what sportsmanship is all about.
1. Bobby Jones, 1925 U.S. Open Assessed himself a one-stroke penalty on the par-4 11th hole for an infraction nobody saw. He’d eventually lose in a playoff. Praised for his honesty, Jones said, “You might as well praise a man for not robbing a bank.”
2. Armando Galarraga, Detroit Tigers, 2010 With Galarraga one out away from a perfect game, umpire Jim Joyce blew a call at first base to spoil the achievement. Rather than lash out, Galarraga defended Joyce and accepted his apology.
3. Shawn Crawford, 2008 Beijing Olympics
Finished fourth, but was awarded silver in the 200 meters after two runners were disqualified for lane violations. Feeling that Churandy Martin of the Netherlands Antilles had rightly earned the honor, Crawford sent him his medal.
“I know the rules are the rules. You step on the line, you’re disqualified. But when you’re running clear in your position and aren’t impeding in someone’s race and you barely touch the line? I felt that Churandy was robbed. He worked four years just like I did, went to practice and trained — probably threw up at practice like I did — nights of breathlessness and days where you wanted to sleep. For four years... I felt like he ran a second-place race. He beat us by a considerable margin, from second to third. I know I put in the work, and I go out there and expect to earn my position. I felt like I was beat fair and square.
“When Churandy received my medal, he was surprised. He couldn’t believe that I was doing it. At first, he didn’t accept it. He understood my argument, but wanted to make sure that’s really what I wanted to do. But he has so much respect for me now. We’re really cool, and it’s a great relationship. To me, that’s more important. If I had kept the medal, I probably never would have known much about him. Just ‘hi’ and ‘bye,’ every time I saw him. I like the relationship we have built. It’s important to have good relationships and friendships in life. You only live once, and it’s a short life.”
4. Mallory Holtman and Liz Wallace, Central Washington University women’s softball, 2008 After Sara Tucholsky of Western Oregon University hit her first career home run, she injured her knee rounding first base. Holtman and Wallace carried her around the bases, so she could receive credit for a four-bagger.
5. San Francisco Giants, 2010 NLDS After clinching victory in the series at Turner Field, the Giants broke off their victory celebration to join in a standing ovation for manager Bobby Cox, managing his last game of a 25-year run with the Braves.