I strongly believe the black culture spends too much time, energy and effort raising, praising, and teasing our black children about the dubious glories of professional sports.
—Arthur Ashe (1943–93) American Tennis Player
I played golf some time ago with John D. Rockefeller. The other day, I played with Charles M. Schwab…. Both played exactly the same. Neither overreached (or) tried to do more than he was capable of…. Most golfers, like most businessmen, swat the ball with all their might and trust more or less to luck as to the result…. Now, both Rockefeller and Schwab hit a straight ball nine times out of ten. In fact, in the first 17 holes I played with Schwab, he didn’t foozle a single shot. I could drive a ball 25 to 50 yards further than he, but quite often it flew wild. The result was that Schwab licked me decisively.
—B. C. Forbes (1880–1954) Scottish-born American Journalist, Publisher
I have a lifetime contract. That means I can’t be fired during the third quarter if we are ahead and moving the ball.
—Lou Holtz (1893–1980) American Stage Performer
So you wish to conquer in the Olympic Games, my friend? And I, too… But first mark the conditions and the consequences. You will have to put yourself under discipline; to eat by rule, to avoid cakes and sweetmeats; to take exercise at the appointed hour whether you like it or not, in cold and heat; to abstain from cold drinks and wine at your will. Then, in the conflict itself you are likely enough to dislocate your wrist or twist your ankle, to swallow a great deal of dust, to be severely thrashed, and after all of these things, to be defeated.
—Epictetus (55–135) Ancient Greek Philosopher
Tennis is a perfect combination of violent action taking place in an atmosphere of total tranquility.
—Billie Jean King (b.1943) American Tennis Player
It is a rough road that leads to the heights of greatness.
—Seneca the Younger (Lucius Annaeus Seneca) (c.4 BCE–65 CE) Roman Stoic Philosopher, Statesman, Tragedian
Winners make it happen – losers let it happen.
Winners make choices – losers take chances.
Winners never quit and quitters never win.
—Vince Lombardi (1913–70) American Football Coach
Aggressive fighting for the right is the greatest sport in the world.
—Theodore Roosevelt (1858–1919) American Head of State, Political leader, Historian, Explorer
Business is a combination of war and sport.
—Andre Maurois (1885–1967) French Novelist, Biographer
In France, cooking is a serious art form and a national sport.
—Julia Child (1912–2004) American Cook, Author
Since the Bible and the church are obviously mistaken in telling us where we came from, how can we trust them to tell us where we are going?
The addiction to sports, therefore, in a peculiar degree marks an arrested development in man’s moral nature
—Thorstein Veblen (1857–1929) American Economist, Social Critic
People in the States used to think that if girls were good at sports their sexuality would be affected. Being feminine meant being a cheerleader, not being an athlete. The image of women is changing now. You don’t have to be pretty for people to come and see you play. At the same time, if you’re a good athlete, it doesn’t mean you’re not a woman.
—Martina Navratilova (b.1956) Czech-born American Sportsperson
Durability is part of what makes a great athlete.
—Bill Russell (1934–2022) American Basketball Player, Coach
Sports is the toy department of human life.
—Howard Cosell (1918–95) American Journalist, Columnist, TV Personality, Radio Personality
Wild animals never kill for sport. Man is the only one to whom the torture and death of his fellow creatures is amusing in itself.
—James Anthony Froude (1818–94) British Historian, Novelist, Biographer, Editor
There is a syndrome in sports called “paralysis by analysis.”
—Arthur Ashe (1943–93) American Tennis Player
We have not made cricket and football (soccer) professional because of any astonishing avarice or new vulgarity. We have made them professional because we would have them perfect. We have dedicated men to them as to some god of inhuman excellence. We care more for football than for the fun of playing football.
—G. K. Chesterton (1874–1936) English Journalist, Novelist, Essayist, Poet
As I understand it, sport is hard work for which you do not get paid.
—Irvin S. Cobb (1876–1944) American Humorist, Short Story Writer, Columnist
One man practicing sportsmanship is far better than fifty preaching it.
—Knute Rockne (1888–1931) American College Football Coach
The minute you start talking about what you’re going to do if you lose, you have lost.
—George Shultz (1920–2021) American Politician, Economist
What counts in sports is not the victory, but the magnificence of the struggle.
—Joe Paterno (1926–2012) American Sportsperson
Sports do not build character. They reveal it.
—John Wooden (1910–2010) American Sportsperson
The mind is the limit. As long as the mind can envision the fact that you can do something, you can do it—as long as you really believe 100 percent.
—Arnold Schwarzenegger (b.1947) Austrian-American Athlete, Actor, Politician
Adversity causes some men to break, others to break records.
—William Arthur Ward (1921–94) American Author
If all the year were playing holidays, to sport would be as tedious as to work: but when they seldom come, they wished for come, and nothing pleaseth but rare accidents.
—William Shakespeare (1564–1616) British Playwright
It’s too bad that one has to conceive of sports as being the only arena where risks are, [for] all of life is risk exercise. That’s the only way to live more freely, and more interestingly.
—William Sloane Coffin (1924–2006) American Presbyterian Clergyman, Peace Activist
In love as in sport, the amateur status must be strictly maintained.
—Robert Ranke Graves (1895–1985) English Poet, Novelist, Critic, Classical Scholar
The Lord does not deduct from the hours of man those spent in fishing.
—Herbert Hoover (1874–1964) 31st American President
Sports serve society by providing vivid examples of excellence.
—George Will (b.1941) American Columnist, Journalist, Writer