I have nothing but no ball intentions
It won’t have escaped any resident of the UK or indeed any cricket lover that there has been a bit of scandal over the weekend. But before you all click away, rest assured I’m not going to write about sport.
To summarise, the scandal has been caused by an undercover reporter revealing that players were “allegedly” complicit in a betting syndicate by making errors to order to facilitate spot betting. In other words, they were bowling no balls to order by stepping over a white line at a pre agreed point so that others could profit by betting on it. Along with the understandable outcry about the specific act, there has also been a wave opinion that sports people should always be “doing their best”. And it is this that strikes me as both ridiculous and naive.
Sport people, like business people, like any people. Are people. Ok, so I labour the point, but it is a Tuesday after the Bank Holiday and you may be limited in the brain cell compartment (that’s ok). And people are not always performing at their peak. Moreover, people sometimes don’t perform out of choice. The reasons for demotivation are well scripted and presented by greater brains than mine. However, these guys didn’t just not participate, they acted….but negatively. Is that so unusual? I think not.
I’d suggest this is pretty common, and I know that I certainly see it throughout the world of work. People don’t perform for a manager, because they want to see them get into grief, they don’t pick up on an error because they want to try to profit from someone elses mistake and some even go to the extent of wrongly associating other people with cock ups in order to benefit.
I’m not condoning any of this behaviour. I’d love to live in a world where sportsmanship and fair play rule and that everyone acts in the best interests of society and strives for the greater good. Unfortunately that place only exists in fairy tales and in the guidance we give to our children in hope that a drop in the ocean can become a turning tide. So instead lets stop the hand wringing and the moral outrage. People are people, they do good and they do bad – regardless of what they do to earn a living.
PS. If you haven’t heard enough of my drivel for one day, you can also read a more serious article that I wrote for the wonderful XpertHR here.