Coubertin Quote for Mar, 05
The practice of athletic exercise does not iron out inequalities in social conditions, but it places relationships on an equal footing.Share
There is a great consistency in the writing of Baron Pierre de Coubertin on the social purpose of sport. As a young man helping the fledgling Third Republic of France find its democratic footing, he embraced the principles of equality, liberty and fraternity for all. In sport he saw the advantage of a practical egalitarianism on the fields of play, and pushed for its inclusion in the public education system of France. In this passage from an article entitled Sport and the Social Issue, which appeared in the Olympic Review in August 1913, he acknowledged that while sport cannot eliminate social inequalities, it does put everyone on equal footing at least while playing a game—and that, he believed, served a vital purpose in the development of democracy.
"The practice of athletic exercise does not iron out inequalities in social conditions, but it does place relationships on an equal footing. In this respect, form is likely more important than content. After all, who would dare guarantee that equal conditions will produce social peace? Nothing could be more uncertain. Things are quite different, however, with regard to the egalitarianism of relationships. It is easy to say that this (sport) is the most useful type of egalitarianism to implement in a democracy."