Sportsmen are always perceived as valiant beings. They are supposed to be richly endowed with masculine traits like toughness and restraint. But being human probably gets the better of them at certain times, and they end up invalidating their masculinity with their sobs. As much as women appreciate men who can shed a tear or two, they sure are repelled by men who can’t handle defeat and bawl away to glory. A sportsman in particular, who can’t cop defeat to his chin, is seen as a major disappointment.
Here’s a list of a few sportsmen who have broken down in public.
Ronaldo is famous for having broken down and cried in public more than a few times. After Portugal’s defeat to Greece in the Euro 2004 final, he burst into tears and had to be consoled by a number of teammates. Another one of his famous outbursts came after Manchester United lost a penalty shootout to Arsenal in 2005, in the FA Cup final. He followed that up with an episode in 2006, after the Portuguese were defeated by the French in the World Cup semi-final. But the most unforgettable amongst them all is that much-ridiculed night of the 2008 Champions League final against Chelsea in Moscow when Manchester United…. won? The sobs that night were of happiness, contrary to what footage of his emotions might suggest.
More famous for his antics on the field than for his game, we can stretch Sreesanth’s ‘crying’ into shades of grey, unlike the rest of the players here. From making garbled faces and doing imitations of an angered primate to boogying and sobbing like a candy-deprived child on the field – Sreesanth has done it all. Huge misfortune befell him after an IPL game between the Mumbai Indians and Kings XI Punjab in 2008, when Indian teammate Harbhajan Singh was believed to have slapped Sreesanth after the latter’s mocking of the hot-headed spinner. Harbhajan was later believed to have apologized to the apparently distraught Sreesanth. However, years later, Sreesanth denied anything of that sort transpired. Maybe he was crying just to grab Preity Zinta’s attention?
Winning a Grand Slam means a lot to Roger Federer, as it probably would to anybody else. Breaking down before millions of spectators across the globe after a Slam final only reflects how much that title means to him. Federer has shed tears more than once on the court – after having won the 2003 Wimbledon, after winning the French Open in 2009, etc. Another episode of Federer breaking down brought about a lot of criticism with it – the 2009 Australian Open where he lost to Rafael Nadal. He was termed as a ‘sore loser’ by some knockers after this episode, who claimed that Federer could not face defeat like a man.
When he won his first championship in 1991, he let loose and let his emotions pour out. This was the first of a total six that Jordan would have won by the end of his career. Just his tears said a shedload of how much his first title meant to him. Michael Jordan hugging the basketball and crying after the Chicago Bulls beat Seattle SuperSonics in the NBA finals in 1996 – this was perhaps a sight that would mean much to any avid Michael Jordan fan or even a broad-spectrum basketball fan. It reminded everyone that the Hall-Of-Fame superstar is only human at the end of the day.