ESPN host defends controversial comparison to show what good sportsmanship looks like

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Op-ed views and opinions expressed are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of BizPac Review. 

Pro-golfer Jordan Spieth and pro-football player Cam Newton have a lot in common. They are both young, both at the top of their game. They are both quickly becoming the faces of their respective sports, dominating in a way few athletes do. They also just turned in poor, losing performances on the biggest stage imaginable — Cam in the Super Bowl and Spieth in last weekend’s Masters. 

After that, the favorable comparisons end and one particularly interesting contrast begins — how each athlete handled defeat.

If one recalls, Cam Newton’s epic temper tantrum after Super Bowl 50 is the stuff of legends, the poster-performance for every Dad who wants to show their athlete children the antithesis of sportsmanship. OK, it wasn’t all bad. Cam did congratulate rival quarterback Peyton Manning on the win, and one can certainly understand why the within-earshot [Bronco cornerback] Chris Harris interview would be upsetting. Still, I think even Newton himself would admit he’d do it differently if he had it to do over.

Jordan Spieth, on the other hand, who gave up six strokes in three holes to lose the lead and the victory to eventual champion Danny Willett, a meltdown that will undoubtedly go down as one of the most epic choke-jobs in golf history, had to not only talk to reporters after the tournament, he also had to physically place the famous green jacket on Willett.

In an individual sport where it all comes down to your own mettle, a sport Spieth has dominated for the better part of the last season, that had to have been hard. And yet, Spieth “took his medicine” with grace and class showing the world that, indeed, even famous professional athletes can be role models too.

ESPN’s Mark Schlereth was perhaps the first analyst to notice the contrast, and at least one outlet had some advice for him.

The critics and Newton apologists were numerous and loud, but Schlereth pressed on.

Many responded by attacking the fact that Spieth politely asked a cameraman to not shoot so close to his face, but that’s a ridiculous reach. There really isn’t anything inappropriate or unsportsmanlike there.

Jordan had better watch out! It’s probably only a matter of time before Black Lives Matter activist Shaun King digs up something in Spieth’s past to pen a nasty op-ed about!

 

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Scott Morefield

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