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Unlucky is Unethical


After a foul, after a missed shot, missed goal, one word comes to everyone’s minds first: unlucky. 

“Oh unlucky… Oh unlucky… Oh unlucky…”

This word doesn’t belong in sports, it truly doesn’t. Why, you may ask. That’s easy, sports are skill, not luck. 

Dedicated athletes spend hours upon hours perfecting their craft and progressing their skills, this is something that deserves recognition. The athletes who use the word unlucky, well, hate to break it to you, but those are the athletes who may not have put in the time and effort to get better. They take the recognition from the people who have put in so much time and effort by claiming that anything that happens to themselves, their friends, or their teammates is unlucky, and shouldn’t have happened. 

For example, let’s say you are on a team where you have put worked years to make yourself a better player, and you have a teammate who everyone believes is wonderful, but in reality isn’t the best. Okay? You’re not so good teammate misses a shot, or a goal, or fumbles the ball, and your other teammates on the bench start screaming, “Oh, unlucky!” Does that not enrage you? Being told that someone’s lack of skill and preparation is something that is unlucky, does that not make you mad? 

Just because someone is lazy and doesn’t want to work hard in their sport, does not mean something happening in a game is unlucky. That is their own fault for not putting in the time to be able to hit shots, score goals, and catch the ball. There is no need to overuse this word in terms of sports. 

The word unlucky should be used in situations where it makes sense, like slot machines, Bingo, the game Pie-Face. These require luck, so if something bad happened to you in these, then the word unlucky can be used. There is a chance aspect to this, you don’t know what will happen, nor do you need any special skills to participate in these games; hence, these are situations where you can actually use the word unlucky and have it make sense.

The dictionary defines the word unlucky as “having, bringing, or resulting from bad luck.” When you Google it, the example of the word used in a sentence that comes up is “an unlucky defeat,” this example in the context of sports is exactly the problem. Using the word unlucky to describe a loss is incorrect, just because another team is better than you does not give you permission to say that it is just by chance you lost. Yes, bad days in sports occur, but to claim every loss is unlucky is wrong. 

Now, I think it needs to be cleared up, I’m not saying that all athletes that use the word unlucky in their sports are bad, maybe they are, and they are justifying bad plays with this word, I don’t know. Rather, I’m saying that the use of terms like unlucky to describe things that are skill based and not luck based is wrong. It takes away from the athletes who have put their heart and soul into getting better and have a lot of skill in their sports.

Unlucky is unethical. Period. If you don’t agree, you could be part of the problem.

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    Old ManApr 4, 2024 at 10:06 am

    I would contend that sometimes sports DO involve luck. If, for example, a basketball player shot a three-pointer from the center line, would there not be an element of luck involved? And if that three-pointer was at the buzzer, and changed the outcome of the game, would the loss not be because of bad luck?

    If two teams are evenly matched, but a referee makes a questionable call which gives one team an advantage … is there no luck involved? Can a bad player get lucky and score?