By Dr. Douglas F. Levesque, Founder of the Levesque Institute
Scantily clad “cheerleaders”, foul mouthed coaches, and gesturing players, along with commercials filled with drunkenness, and innuendo make watching a sports competition on television with the family a dangerous proposition. What can be done to make sports coverage more family friendly?
The networks can and should self-impose a family friendly set of policies and procedures for producers and their crews. No coed close-ups please. Even kids can read lips so pull back the camera already. Especially refrain to replay, in slow motion, the explicit victory dances in the end zone. It would not take much to clean things up, and make TV sports a ‘safe zone’ again. Adult style commercials should be reserved for after-hours programming or removed altogether – not shown during the World Series or on a mid-Saturday afternoon. Sports can be a health thing for families. It should promote a work ethic, character, healthy living and even sacrifice for the greater good. However, the exploitation of sports into commercialization and entertainment has stolen some of its virtues. In fact, along with the way this it is broadcast, sports have almost become a corrupting force.
Leagues and teams could also add to their regulations, fines for lewd behavior while broadcasting. If a player or coach wants to think in expletives or rant in the locker room, we cannot stop them, but make them pay for it when being viewed by a million or more kids. Cheerleaders can cheer without impurity, but must feel the financial penalties should they choose to ‘bump and grind’ in front of children. Please, nobody wants to steal from these talented professionals pocket books, but please, don not rob our youth of noble heroes and good manners. Even those behind the camera should help edit what seems to be seedy, non-family fare, or face a reduced paycheck.
Appeal to Individuals
I suppose one could remove the TV altogether, and perhaps this is the only real option; however, there is nothing like watching a game seven of the NBA finals with my family, so with kindness and humility to all the media powers that be, families everywhere appeal to you, please bring sports on TV back to the world of a general audience. Let’s put a clamp on ourselves to be self-controlled while playing, performing, coaching, filming, and producing at athletic media worthy events. If we do not then parents will begin to execute their only alternative which is to pull the plug. The Bible’s greatest athlete, King David, who slew lion and giants, did so while saying “I will set no wicked thing before mine eyes: I hate the work of them that turn aside; it shall not cleave to me.” (Psalm 101:3).