To win is everything?

To win is everything?

Leopoldo Mitre – August 4, 2015

Those who extol the victory of Mexico's football team are forgetting the "Fair Play". When the game is not clean, the competition is not fair and therefore the victory is not honorable.


About the Gold Cup held this year in the US I think we can not blame the player Andres Guardado for matching the penalties that gave life to @Miseleccionmx and eventually pass to the final. If arbitration decisions, both in the quarter -finals (Mexico vs. Costa Rica) and the final (Mexico vs. Panama) were incorrect and nonexistent, the professional player can not be reproach for scoring goals and fulfill the entrusted mission to win the game… ir he can?

Professional football players, like almost all professionals in other areas have been brought under the maxim that says “winning is not the most important, is everything.” However, such events are the ones that should help us to reflect if as a society we were being right -in our own beneficial- in maintaining and further instilling moral values ​​that support this belief.

If we followed the categorical imperative proposed by Kant “act so that the maxim of your action could become a universal law”, or in other words imagine what would happen if everyone do the same, we could find in this logic a simple way to identify consequences that entails in order to gain as a sole purpose.

Imagine that we test in the field of business, say the stock market where bankers and brokers are trained to earn the highest possible return. It is not a secret that the fight in the financial market is based on obtaining the greatest possible profit (for themselves, for their companies or clients), at the expense of someone else’s loss. So under the above premise then who cares to take advantage of the misfortune of the competitor, legal vacuums or even the blunders of the regulatory authority; finally winning is what matters … right?

Does that sound crazy? Remember Wall Street in 2008? If we look at history we may find that many executives have held stocks and options of questionable legal debt -though to say the least- that gave them high yields in the short term, but that over time not only hurt and violated millions of people around the world, but ended up bankrupting their own companies by the loudest financial crisis of recent times. Lehman Brothers would have been a player who benefited from the lack of regulation and the complacency of the rating, but we can not blame the player for wanting to win at all costs… or can we?

If we always follow the idea of winning at all costs, we would be accepting the Machiavellian postulate that’s says, “The end justifies the means”. And therefore we could not blame the executive who sold junk bonds or hide bad assets (sub-prime loans) to continue trading debt. If the goal is profit, despite the error or misfortune of another, then it makes perfect sense that everyday in the world fewer people return a forgotten wallet, give way in traffic or simply want to respect the line to buy tickets at the theatre. It seems that the “bully ” culture or the law of the cunning is the new currency, so it is more admirable criminal who escape from jail than to admit an error in a football game.

I refuse to accept that this is the world our children will inherit.

When a society forgets the values ​​that unite them, it’s easy to lose direction and getting lost in the maze of personal indulgence. Those who today exalt the victory of the National Mexican Football Team are forgetting that the maximum of the game is the “Fair Play”. When it is clear that the game is not clean, the competition is not fair and therefore the victory is not honorable.

And without honor, How can we expect confidence, investment, security and prosperity?

Today the world’s opinion is not very favorable for Mexico. It seems that the honor has been replaced by corruption: from the Chapo and politicians mansions, until the bribery to the police man in the streets and the informal trade. So the National Mexican Football team becomes important because like other leaders and media references, they are role models for millions of people. Their actions resonate powerfully society. Therefore it is desirable that their actions will inspire people to act in ways that preserve the dignity and the good opinion of others. Andrés Guardado could have given you an example, but in the end only he only thought it for a moment.

The next time you watch a game of @miseleccionmx remember that winning is important, but not enough as the reputation. Act with integrity and you can be respected for all the world as the most valuable winner.