A tale of double standards

By Herman M. Lagon

“WE BOO our basketball coaches for losing games, but we bear with poor leaders who govern with incompetence and arrogance. Something is wrong with us.”

Catholic priest and influencer Fr. Nongnong Tuazon articulated a poignant observation reverberating through our society. This duality in our standards is indeed something that merits contemplation. It mirrors a perplexing contrast that underscores our choices and judgments.

Consider the recent discourse surrounding the performance of Gilas Pilipinas under the guidance of former Ateneo skipper Vincent “Chot” P. Reyes. The social media sphere was awash with criticism, bashing, and inappropriate name-calling directed not only toward Coach Chot Reyes himself but even to his family. The negativity reached a tipping point when Coach Reyes stepped aside from his role as head coach of Gilas Pilipinas. The discourse ignited debate and disappointment, yet it’s crucial to grasp the essence behind this reaction.

Chot Reyes had inherited the responsibility of leading the Philippine National Team when expectations were fervent and hopes were high. However, facing challenges, managerial politics, and stiff international competition, the team faced disappointments that spurred strong reactions from fans and critics alike. While intense, The outpouring of criticism serves as a testament to Filipinos’ passion for basketball and the collective yearning for success on the international stage.

The resonance of this fervor starkly contrasts our toleration of incompetence, corruption, arrogance, and anomalies in government. We are often quick to express discontent when our sports heroes falter, which is understandable per se. Yet, we often find ourselves complacent in real-world issues that profoundly impact our nation. Instances of ineptitude, hubris, and injustice among government officials that undermine the welfare of the Filipino people are often met with resignation, apathy, or indifference.

This disparity in reaction prompts us to reflect on our values and priorities as a society. Why do we hold our basketball coaches to such high standards while seemingly acquiescing to lapses in leadership that bear significant consequences? Is it rooted in our passion for sports or reflects a deeper societal tendency to address surface-level issues while overlooking more profound systemic problems?

As we evaluate our societal tendencies, it is essential to remember that discussions like these pave the way for introspection and growth. They illuminate the gaps in our perception and encourage us to cultivate consistency in our standards. This contemplation can extend beyond the realm of sports and into the heart of our political landscape, shaping how we choose our leaders at both local and national levels.

In this context, the upcoming elections for barangay officials become a litmus test of whether we can bridge the gap between our expectations in sports and our aspirations for a better-governed nation. As we cast our votes, we must remember the double standards we have observed and strive for a more balanced, consistent, and discerning perspective in our choices.

Fr. Nongnong Tuazon’s words echo a call to action, encouraging us to scrutinize our biases and challenge ourselves to align our principles with integrity. It is a journey that requires collective effort and a shared commitment to create a society where our standards are unwavering, regardless of the context, and where we demand accountability and excellence in the realm of sports and every facet of our national life.


Doc H fondly describes himself as a ‘student of and for life’ who, like many others, aspires to a life-giving and why-driven world that is grounded in social justice and the pursuit of happiness. His views herewith do not necessarily reflect those of the institutions where he is employed or connected with.