Classifying physical activities as “sports” not necessary


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Competitive cheerleading has officially been recognized as a sport by the California Interscholastic Federation. This inevitably brings up the pointless, never-ending argument of whether cheerleading should be considered a sport or not.

Other questions commonly brought up in the midst of these discussions include: “What defines a sport?” and “If cheerleading is a sport, then which other physical activities should be considered sports as well?”

Well I have a question for everybody: Why does it matter?

Sport or not, cheerleading is still going to consist of athletes working extremely hard to perform and compete to the best of their abilities. This is no different than with any other physical activity.

In many people’s’ eyes, American football is considered the greatest sport in existence. It’s a little too stop-and-go for it to be my favorite sport to watch on television, but it’s still entertaining.

If I said that football is not a sport, the majority of people would disagree. People who actually play football would probably feel offended because they would feel as if I had hurt their sense of pride or status as football players by not classifying football as a sport.

However, football players are some of the most dedicated and hardworking people that I know, and calling it a ‘physical activity’ rather than a ‘sport’ would not change a thing about how they play the game or how much effort they put into it.

If you’re not getting my point, let me entertain you with this analogy: I have an apple. Now, I’d say that roughly 100% of people would consider this apple a fruit. Here’s the crazy part; if I were to say that I think that the apple is a vegetable, it still does not change the fact that I have an apple.
If you couldn’t almost taste the sarcasm in my last sentence, then you probably didn’t get the analogy.

Google defines a sport as ‘an activity involving physical exertion and skill in which an individual or team competes against another or others for entertainment.’ By this definition, competitive cheerleading (as well as many other physical activities) is and always has been a sport.

People should not need the CIF’s certification to know that cheerleaders work just as hard as other athletes who play different sports.

It’s almost like playing a “sport” entitles a person to some sort of higher status over others who participate physical activities that aren’t considered sports.

I find this ridiculous because all the word ‘sports’ is is a label to categorize something.

Whether an activity fits into this category or not does not matter because it does not affect the way the activity is performed or acted out.