To lose the joy of play is devastating, for the spirit of the soul needs play for its uplifting. Jesse Owens, International American Hero, lifted his country to a moral high and momentary state of color blindness. Mental slaves—strong, powerful, and skilled; free to move around as they saw fit on the plantation, successful in keeping their owners popular and rich. But shackled with a mind that recognized plantation freedom as social mobility. Play, especially for the better athlete was no longer for the fun of the game. It was for the ride. (Scholarship.)
These athletes were always athletic. They played on physical ability. They did not use their minds, just their bodies. They did not think, just acted.
Today we see a great deal of negative emotions at athletic events. This just might be result of backgrounds that were developed on athleticism (athletics) and not on intellectualism (mind).