I'm not going to lie, roller derby didn't save my soul. My soul was firmly ensconced in my body and I had plenty of things in my life that gave it meaning before I tried out for derby. I joined derby because I was interested in learning something new, skating, and I wanted to compete in a really intense sport.
Recently on FB, I saw this photo post. I wish I could remember where I originally saw it, but it has become a meme for derby folks.
|Everything in this picture is true about derby, and it is true about every other sport people love to play.|
Unfortunately, I feel like some derby folk are sabotaging this goal by making derby a special case. Considering derby as anything else than a sport at this point in its development opens up leagues to a lot of unnecessary problems that other sports teams do not have. I firmly believe that the level of drama would drop if we all started to treat each other more like sportsmen and women, and less like "family". I know that is a difficult concept for a lot of people, but think about it this way; you may have up to 100 people in a league, or more. How many people like EVERYONE they've ever met and want to be best friends with them all? It's not realistic. Don't get me wrong, I have met some amazing people in derby, but I would have gotten along with them outside of this sport too.
If we can start thinking of ourselves as teammates instead of families or sorority sisters, we can all behave in a more professional manner and leave the back biting and ridiculous drama issues out of our sport. I love love love derby; stop by and talk derby with me, you might get bored before I do. But, it is a sport. It's not a magic fix to your life, it's not a higher and noble cause anymore than any other sport, but it is a hell of a lot of fun and I would love to see it continue to be that for everyone.
Just my two cents.