Our culture is one where there is a win-at-all-costs focus, regardless if it’s in the business arena, education field, or in athletics. It’s unfortunate that honesty and sportsmanship aren’t valued more heavily, but that’s a moral debate for another time. The point is that very few athletes will point out a bad call when they should, if it means losing.
Rafael Nadal is different from most athletes.
As Busted Racquet pointed out, Nadal overruled a line judge during his semifinal match against Andy Murray at the French Open.
Murray was serving to start the second set and he had the advantage. His first serve was called long, but Nadal went up to check the spot, saw that it was good and walked to the side of the court to take a rest before the next game. The concession that the serve was in gave Murray the game and the 1-0 lead in the second set. Nadal ended up winning the match, so it’s not as if being honest hurt him. It’s too bad more players don’t feel the same way; what honor is there in winning if you know you didn’t earn it?
Busted Racquet also points out that Novak Djokovic did the same thing in his semifinal match against Roger Federer. Novak lost his match, but he did the right thing. If all players called things honestly, there wouldn’t be as much of a need for judges. Someone like Justine Hennin should take note.Google+