Fair Play is also known as justice. Good people are fair with others. They share the credit with their teammates when they win, and they don’t point fingers of blame when they lose. When they win they praise each other, and when they lose they keep their mouths shut and work together to get better. Remember, teams win TOGETHER and they lose together. Once players start acting like individuals, the team gets weaker.
Have you ever heard quarterbacks after big wins praise their offensive line? They are sharing the credit with guys who made it possible for them to be successful. This is not only fair, it is also smart. A smart quarterback wants to keep winning so he shares the credit with his teammates. This encourages them. When the team looks good, he looks good. The opposite is also true; when the team looks bad – he looks bad. This is true for everybody on the team.
Fair play also applies to competition with other teams. You both love the sport and welcome the opportunity to compete. However you undermine this necessary cooperation when you cheat, or demean another team. If you do not play by the rules, you are no longer playing the same game. If you do win, so what? What is it worth if you didn’t play fairly? You really didn’t beat the other team, you merely fooled the referees. And if you put down your opponent, you make yourself look bad too, because you are admitting you didn’t beat a very good team.
Most importantly, you offend the bonds of fellowship. Wouldn’t it be better to encourage them to keep playing, congratulate them for their effort, and thank them for playing you? Even if they are a loud-mouth, trash-talking team, wouldn’t it be better to beat them soundly and simply walk away, as if beating them was no-big-deal? Why lower yourself to their level? The spirit of fair play keeps relationships strong. Without it, teams and leagues could not stay together for long.
This virtue is needed in our world today. Many people do unjust things because they ignore the essential truth of our human nature. We are made in the image of God. The virtue of Fair Play or Justice begins with acknowledging that we are all children of God. To be just we must give God what we owe him (obedience) and also give others their due too (charity).