I am curious on your thoughts. First of all, let me share mine. 7 reasons Rodeo should not become Alberta’s official sport and why you should connect with your MLA and tell them not support it.
1. Rodeo is a legacy. The exact reason why rodeo was suggested to become the official sport of Alberta is the reason it should not. It is not necessarily a sport, it is a legacy of the ‘old’ ways of doing things. In 2021 we need to find a sport that speaks to the modern era and not look back on our roots and suggest a sport that is steeped in animal abuse and injures.
2. Rodeo is not gender inclusive. Our official sport should be inclusive to all genders. Of the 7 traditional events in rodeo today only 1 is for women. In this day and age defining a sport as the ‘official sport’ that is not inclusive of both genders would be like throwing gasoline into a dumpster fire for our current government. In addition, having events that are different for men and women in a sport is not on point with the current realities of the world.
3. Rodeo is not inclusive to the general population. I would think that an official sport named at this time would be a sport that all kids can participate in. Rodeo really is not a sport that the average kid would even consider and if they were interested would have a very difficult time participating in. Think of a kid going to school in North West Calgary who says “Mom, I want to be a calf roper”. How would that work? Farming community kids maybe have the chance to try rodeo and there are high school rodeos for sure, but Sir Winston Churchill Secondary does not have a rodeo program.
4. Rodeo promotes the abuse of animals. Having been behind the scenes and personally involved with rodeo, I can tell you that the abuse of the animals is real. Often the abuse is shrugged off because of statements that the animals are cared for, loved and live a good life. In general they do not! These animals are specifically bred to be in rodeo. The mediocre ones who ‘don’t make it’ are sent to slaughter. The good ones are hauled around in small trailers from place to place during the rodeo season, kept in small pens and essentially, kept angry so that they ‘perform’ well. Animals are frequently needed to be put down because of broken bones or broken spirits. In this day and age an activity that blatantly abuses animals for entertainment should not be classified a sport.
5. Alberta the laughing stock of Canada. Since this Bill was proposed, I have watched social media and have detected a theme from those commenting that are not residents of Alberta. Resource rich redneck Alberta already has enough challenges in Canada. Adding rodeo as the official sport would just give one more reason for the rest of Canada to hate on this province. Exactly how many rodeo fans are there outside of Alberta? One might argue that is why it should be Alberta’s sport, but then that person should give their head a shake.
6. Cost of healthcare going through the roof. We are all aware that healthcare is an expense the government is challenged with funding. If rodeo became the official sport and more people began participating in it, think of the rising costs we as the general population would have to absorb. High velocity traumatic injuries, including broken limbs, spinal injuries, concussions and even suicide resulting from chronic brain injuries in the rodeo community cost us enough already. It does not seem to make sense to propose a sport that would even further increase this.
7. Right side of history. It is 2021. Rodeo is an old sport based on our history. That is all well and good, and in this era we should consider new opportunities. If rodeo had become the official sport in 1921 that might make sense. Then the Legislature would be now wondering how to modernize the official sport of Alberta, to something that is not abusive to animals, gender and population inclusive, and does not cause many personal health injuries. Before we go down the road on this one lets reconsider.