Dangerous rhetoric spreads like wild fire, and these days it revolves around feeling guilty for doing well. Sloane Stephens, the U.S. Open women’s champion, faced this criticism not hours after the major feat. First, a reporter asked her, “Having done this once, does it give you a hunger to win another slam, to do this again?” As if Stephens, a professional tennis player, hadn’t dedicated her life to winning tennis matches. The reporter seems to think maybe only now will she want to do it again.
Perhaps the reporter meant to suggest Stephens might want to win more now than she did before, but that seems to have been the point all along. The second reporter questioned her conscience asking, “Does it make you feel very bad for Madison?” Stephens beat Madison Keys 6-3, 6-0 in the championship match.
It is possible the reporter forgot that the purpose of playing a sport or game is to win, ultimately forcing someone else to lose. But trying to make the winner feel guilty only fosters the “everyone’s a winner” mentality, and that everyone deserves a ribbon. That one shouldn’t fight, train, and work hard to be the best. What do you think?
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