How is it, I wonder, that we can praise a man for being a great athlete despite being a lousy sportsman? Why is it too much to expect both, especially when others on his team appear to manage that without an issue?
When we teach kids to play sports, we teach them that sportsmanship and skill are both critical components of excellence. Do we suddenly drop the sportsmanship requirement when the television and gambling stakes reach a certain level?
My sports heroes are the ones who are both fierce competitors and gentlemen or ladies at the same time. That is the gold standard. We should hold it up for all players of excellence. And, BTW, for ourselves.