Not every story that came out of the 2016 Olympic games in Rio was defined by heroism. Some people were just downright rude.
Whether or not you agreed with the call (FYI, it was totally justified), the manner in which the coaches handled themselves was something you rarely see in sports … or even in a movie. It was surreal. I thought I was watching a Sacha Baron Cohen movie. See, as someone who has participated in Greco Roman wrestling from the age of 8 to 18, and nearly a decade in the bizarre world of professional wrestling, I have a soft spot for my fellow wrestlers. I empathize with them in every way, from making weight to pushing themselves to new levels for success. As well, I understand how a point system loss can crush you and your team. But what these coaches did was the most disrespectful act I’ve ever seen in the Olympics. For the life of me, I couldn’t figure out how this helped their cause. Did they think the judges would change their minds while the coaches were in mid-strip? Like, “OK, OK, you make a good point. We’ll reverse our ruling. Please just leave your underwear on.” The only silver lining was watching the actual wrestlers embrace each other after their match … even while the coaches were nearly naked. What the competitors did showed pride, grace and elegance. Feeling overwhelmingly distraught over his loss, the Mongolian wrestler showed up his rude coaches with the professionalism by congratulating his opponent before bursting into tears off-mat. Sadly, his graciousness was overshadowed by two coaches with zero respect for the sport.
Example #3: The Entitled Crowd
The egos of athletes are difficult enough to manage. But what’s worse are the entitled non-athletic associates that believe their connections earn them a spot in the winner’s circle. An example of this was with India’s sports minister, Vijay Goel and his rowdy (and unaccredited) entourage of hanger-ons. His entourage of leaches repeatedly used Goel’s influence to push their way into restricted areas and challenged—with improper tone and gestures—security officials for trying to reprimand them. This act is similar to how an obnoxious celebrity brings a dozen of their “boys” to a nightclub and shout to everyone in the room, “Don’t you know who I am!?!?” Folks, what Goel did was entitlement at its finest. And in case you haven’t caught onto my philosophies on manners by now, please understand that the highest level of improper behavior comes in the form of entitlement.
From a spoiled rich kid, nepotism or the spouse of an influential person flexing their partner’s power as their own, the single rudest character trait is entitlement. I even wrote an article called Tips For Entitled Youth where I took great pride in ripping into people who believe their last name, wallet, or associations grant them certain privileges over others. So, when I heard about Goel’s gang of brats, I couldn’t help congratulate Olympic organizers for taking a stand against entitlement. If they allow this behavior to fester it will only turn the Olympics into a velvet rope affair of “Who’s Who” rather than who matters. Put yourself in the athlete’s shoes: imagine your childhood dream coming true only to have some random person run up to you and take a selfie during your moment. Not exactly how they dreamt it, I’m sure. This is essentially what Goel’s crew was doing. Be it sport or socially, it’s insanely arrogant to think a friend or family member’s rights are now yours because you’re with them. I can’t help but savor watching someone with “faux-clout” being put in his or her place.
As always, if you have another manners question, I look forward to hearing from you at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow me on Twitter @MannersQDT, and of course, check back next week for more Modern Manners Guy tips for a more polite life.
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