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Columnist Seeks To Squash Debate Whether Driver = Athlete

ESPN [1] features a column written by Ed Hinton that seeks to squash the debate, once and for all, as to whether drivers are athletes.

Hinton asserts that drivers are not athletes, but in the end says it does not matter.

Instead, Hinton takes issue with the people who would argue that auto racing is not a sport.

He writes:

I’ve often wondered just when and how the American public’s definition of ‘sport’ narrowed so radically to ‘athletics.’ If anybody bothered to pay attention to Webster anymore, they’d find under ‘sport,’ 1. A source of diversion: PASTIME.

He also points to an Ernest Hemingway quote: There are only three sports: bullfighting, motor racing and mountaineering, all the others being games.

Hinton concludes:

Having had to cover the deaths of [Nigel] Mansell’s archrival in [Formula 1], Ayrton Senna, and his best friend in NASCAR, Dale Earnhardt, I am certain of this: Motor racing is no game.

This column is definitely worth the read, but I somehow doubt it will end the debate.