Sprint car tragedy avoidable

 

I won’t link to the video, because it’s too disturbing.

I’ll only say this: more than ever, sports need perspective.

Hyper-competitiveness is considered an asset. But sometimes it kills. Sprint car racer Kevin Ward Jr. died Saturday in upstate New York after he got out of his car following a crash and walked onto the track to gesture at Tony Stewart as cars sped past. When Stewart came past, his car appeared to fishtail and catch Ward under the tire, killing him.

There is much speculation as to how and why it happened. But one indisputable fact is that the tragedy could have been avoided if Ward had stayed away from the center of the track. It’s possible both drivers made poor judgment calls.

There are protocols in sports. Hockey players drop their gloves and start swinging. Batters charge the mound. Walking onto a track to call out another racer is common practice in auto racing.

While dramatics aid sports in promoting themselves,  it’s not worth it if lives are endangered. Competitiveness is one thing, but unnecessary risks are another.Here’s hoping numerous sports and their athletes will draw that line. And that the families of those involved in this event can heal.

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