Sean Speer: Sports’ importance to society has never been so apparent

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We often underestimate the benefits of sports

Sports are a mediating institution in which individuals from different backgrounds, experiences and perspectives come together in pursuit of a collective goal. That can be the Stanley Cup, the local pee wee championship or even the Sunday morning beer league.

In a culture that prioritizes individual autonomy and expression as the ultimate goods, sports operate according to a different ethic. They’re one of the few facets of modern life where we voluntarily relinquish a bit of our individuality to a collective cause.

It’s perhaps no surprise then that research shows sports are a major source of social capital. They contribute positively to social integration, interpersonal relationships, civic engagement and other forms of community building.

A team does its stretches at Toronto’s Ted Reeve Arena in a file photo from March 16 2005. Photo by Postmedia News

This is the key

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