Regardless of the genre, sports play a central role in American society. Aside from transmitting important values like fair play and justice, they also promote social and racial integration. For centuries, sports have been an important glue that binds people together. As early as the 17th century, the American colonies emphasized the importance of physical exercise, and they promoted swimming, running, and other physical activities. Presidents of the 20th century encouraged physical activity, and their support continues today.
As the name suggests, sports are a combination of individual and team activities. Participants engage in intense physical activity, burn calories, and may become exhausted or sweaty. Aside from the physical activities involved, sports promote teamwork and self-esteem among participants. Many of the world’s most popular sports are organized by countries that have incorporated them into their national athletic programs. But regardless of their origins, many different types of sports are available for all age groups and skill levels.
In the early 20th century, sports spread far beyond the borders of countries and cultures. African Americans, Australian Aboriginals, and the “Cape Coloureds” in South Africa won the right to play sports. In the 20th century, women were also given equal rights and were allowed to participate in once masculine activities. In the coming decades, sports will continue to expand, both in terms of number and diversity, and will likely be even more popular.