Punished for Winning?

I had a question: “Should a person or a team be punished for winning?” Oh, I forgot to mention one pertinent information… the final score was 100 to 0.

This is the gist of what happened:

1) A women’s basketball game between 2 private high schools
2) The Christian private school won 100-0
3) The winning coach got fired after he said that he would not apologize for blowing out the other team

As I was reading this story, there were many different thoughts that came to my mind.

By firing the coach, what does it communicate to the players? If the team did not run up the score, would it have communicated something about mercy?

No matter how you look at it, there is a conflict of values.

Covenant School (the team that won) made this statement, “It is shameful and an embarrassment that this happened. This clearly does not reflect a Christlike and honorable approach to competition.”

Then in response to the school’s statement the fired coach said, “I do not agree with the apology or the notion that the Covenant School girls’ basketball team should feel embarrassed or ashamed. We played the game as it was meant to be played. My values and my beliefs would not allow me to run up the score on any opponent, and it will not allow me to apologize for a wide-margin victory when my girls played with honor and integrity.”

Christina and I believe in teaching our kids to give 100% and do everything with excellence because it honors God. This is something I believe in passionately. But the problem is when this value comes in conflict with the value of mercy.

There have been times when I have been on the losing side in various sporting competition and it does not feel good to lose; therefore to be shutout by 100-0, it must have been hard to shallow.

There is more to life than just winning. This would have been a great opportunity for the coach to teach the girls something other than just basketball skills and hard play.

I don’t know how the game was played but I hope the winning coach put all their 2nd and 3rd string players in the game once they knew that they had the game in the bag. Sometimes showing mercy in a genuine way without compromising on the value of excellence is the fine balance we have to learn how to walk through life.

You can read the news article here.