Lately, the more I think about competitive sports, or competition in general, the more I realise that competition is violence. Competitive sports, whether it be running, cycling or tennis (all of which are my favourite sports), both supports and sanctions violence.
Competition reduces other people who are seen as competitors or opponents to nothing more than obstacles that stand in our way to become “winners” or “victors”. They cease to be fellow human beings in our minds. And when we beat them in a contest or competition, they have to deal with the stigma of being seen as losers or failures in the eyes of many. The reverse is also true for ourselves: when we “lose” in a competition, we tend to feel less than humans; we feel unworthy and ashamed of ourselves or disappointed with ourselves for not living up to expectations or measuring up to some perceived standards (which are actually arbitrary and subjective in nature).
The same goes for class, which propagates the illusion of separateness, entitlement and superiority. Anything that puts down another person is ultimately violent, whether it be in the form of competitive sports, classism, etc.