Are Sports a Religion?

As we discussed in class this week, religion comes in various shapes and sizes, so to speak. Perhaps the most popular answer to the question of why there are so many religions is that we are each seeking our own path to God or enlightenment, and our paths vary because we vary. Christianity, Hinduism and Judaism are all examples of religions, but , as mentioned in class, religious systems come in a wide range of forms. For example, to a certain extent, sports could be considered a religion. People often say that some of the things these religious ideas have in common that makes them a religion is that they involve rituals, sacred spaces and commitment to a particular idea. When we think about sports, there are some elements of them that are similar to our ideas about religion.

In Christianity, Judaism and Islam, their constituents regularly visit their respective church/synagogue/mosque to think about and practice their religion. In football, it can be said that a stadium or a home ground is the equivalent. It is a place where people go to participate in their group activity and to cement the ideas of that group within their lives and their ideals. Going along with that, a common feature of religion is that they are usually exclusive: a person is a member of one religion not many. Similarly, people often support one particular sports team, not many, and they remain committed to them whether they do well or not.

It is safe to say, that a reason as to why some fans are highly committed to their favorite sports stars and teams is because it gives focus and meaning to their daily lives, just as any other religion would.

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