Daily Independent (Ashland, KY)

Local Sports

October 11, 2013

HOBSTETTER'S HOT ROUTES: Don't fake the shake

ASHLAND — I’ll make this simple — if you can’t simply just shake a hand after the game, maybe you shouldn’t be playing it.

After making national news by discouraging postgame handshakes after sporting events, the KHSAA has had to explain itself the past few days.

And while not completely banning handshakes, KHSAA commissioner Julian Tackett said in a directive that postgame pleasantries should be monitored after dozens of violent altercations have happened.

“It is my hope that all schools can provide the proper supervision and accountability to continue these types of activities,” the statement reads. “But if they can’t, then stop doing them.”

In my opinion, it’s sad that we’ve come to the point that the postgame handshake has become such a hot-button topic.

And what’s sadder is that we can’t trust an athlete to put his head down and keep his mouth closed and just touch his opponent’s hand. That’s what handshakes are nowadays, just a simple touch of the hand.

If a player can’t just touch a hand and show some respect, maybe they shouldn’t play the sport at all.

One of the best things about covering athletes from schools in this area is that they are respectful kids overall. They win and lose and then move on.  

Should we ban handshakes? The simple answer is no.

In the end, handshakes teach an athlete sportsmanship as well as how to be a gracious loser along with being a humble winner.

That is what high school sports should be, teaching teenagers how to be better people. If we get rid of the handshake, you’re teaching a teenager to keep that anger with them instead of just getting over it and playing the next game.

And the fact is, playing a sport is supposed to be fun. Sometimes we all forget that.

I get the fact we get angry when we lose, but we all lose sometimes. Have fun out there. That’s the reason most of started playing sports to begin with.  

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