Baker Mayfield, the quarterback for the Cleveland Browns, believes that competition is not only healthy, but it brings out the best in people.
Mayfield shared his opinions after Mason High School in Ohio, got rid of valedictorian and salutatorian honors to “reduce the overall competitive culture.”
“This is so dumb,” the quarterback wrote on Twitter, quote-tweeting an article detailing the schools change.
“You’re telling me competition doesn’t bring out the best in people?”
“If you want something bad enough, work for it,” he said. “People are too soft.”
Mayfield’s tweet gathered quite the response with over 50,000 retweets, 240,000 favorites, and over 2,400 comments.
Mayfield’s words are not empty. The quarterback knows all about competition and the positive impact it has had on his own life.
When Mayfield graduated high school, he was not a highly recruited player, but over his college career, he learned what it took to become the best.
Starting as just a two-time walk-on at Texas Tech, to winning the Heisman Trophy in 2017, and then becoming the No. 1 NFL Draft pick in 2018, he knows a thing or two about healthy competition.
Not only was Mayfield the No. 1 pick in 2018, but he lived up to the hype in the following season as an NFL rookie averaging 281.75 yards and 2.375 touchdowns per game under Browns coach Freddie Kitchen.
Mason High School says eliminating competition is a positive change
Mason High School is planning on implementing the change for next years 2020 graduating class.
“It’s about what it means to be happy and what it means to be successful and it’s not just about the grade but it’s about the whole child,” Shanna Bumiller, Associate Principal at Mason High School said.
Bobby Dodd, the principal of Mason High School, pointed out that they hope that by eliminating the competitive culture at the high school, it will allow students to focus on different learning opportunities that they otherwise wouldn’t.
“We are moving to a recognition system eliminating valedictorian and salutatorian honors, and shifting to recognizing students who have achieved outstanding academic success through a multitude of pathways. The recognition system will reward our students for genuine academic success based on their academic accomplishments. This will help reduce the overall competitive culture at MHS to allow students to focus on exploring learning opportunities that are of interest to them,” Principal Dodd said.
Jonathan Cooper, Mason High’s superintendent, also pointed out that the community has seen a spike in mental health problems as well as suicides, making the change crucial.
“As our community looked at some unhealthy patterns the rise in anxiety and depression and suicide,” he told Fox News. “It’s the second leading cause of death in youth today across America, so we started to look at what we can do as school leaders to make a change.”
What does the Bible say about competition?
In 1 Corinthians 9, Paul encourages the church in Corinth not to simply run, but to run to win.
“Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training,” Paul writes in 1 Corinthians 9:25. “They do it to get a crown that will not last, but we do it to get a crown that will last forever.”
Paul encourages the church to live out these words, and he, himself, says he did in 2 Timothy 4:7.
“I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith,” 2 Timothy 4:7 reads.
Often times competition can get a bad rep from those in Christian circles. Like many things, if done correctly, it can bring honor to God, but if incorrectly, or for the wrong reasons it can manifest in a dangerous way.
Colossians 3:23-24 reminds us that “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men, since you know that you will receive and inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ that you are serving.”
If we disregard Colossians 3:23-24, and compete for self-glorification, then we are disregarding Gods purpose for our lives. Human beings are not on Earth to satisfy ourselves, but instead, we are here to do all things for the glory of God.
We are called to use the talents God has given us to the best of our abilities. This applies to all aspects of our lives, whether it’s studying for a test for school or competing in the NFL.
In all that we do, we should work to do our best, and bring all the glory to God.