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As I See It

Eliminating handshake line would send the wrong message



It wasn’t the ugliest scene in college sports history, but it makes the list. At the end of the Wisconsin/Michigan basketball game on Sunday, a melee broke out. It ended when Michigan’s coach threw a punch at a Wisconsin assistant coach. This happened as the two teams shook hands in what is designed to be a show of sportsmanship after a hard-fought game. That is leading some to call for eliminating the traditional handshake line to make sure such a display doesn’t happen again. They suggest the teams simply wave at one another as they walk off the court. That would be a mistake. Part of the beauty of athletics is that two teams can try their hardest to win a contest, but after the game can congratulate one another, even though only one team can win. It takes a strong person to be able to swallow their pride and congratulate their opponent even as they still taste a bitter defeat. But that is the beauty of sports. It is called sportsmanship, and it is taught to young people from little leagues to the highest levels of sport. They are taught that even if they get their butts kicked, they still need to act with class, and shake the hand of their opponent. What happened in Madison should be a stark reminder of that. This should be a teachable moment. Choosing to prevent such incidents by no longer expecting the loser to congratulate the victor sends the wrong message that if an athlete doesn’t feel like it, they no longer have to show respect to their opponent.

Scott Robert Shaw serves as WIZM Program Director and News Director, and delivers the morning news on WKTY, Z-93 and 95.7 The Rock. Scott has been at Mid-West Family La Crosse since 1989, and authors Wisconsin's only daily radio editorial, "As I See It" heard on WIZM each weekday morning and afternoon.

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1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Charlene K Joyce

    February 24, 2022 at 7:17 am

    YES! Very good, I couldn’t have said it any better.

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