There may be no crying in baseball, but perhaps there should be in football.
In recent findings published by the American Psychological Association, college football players who were more emotionally expressive and exhibited physical affection toward their teammates were more likely to have a mental advantage on and off the field.
The study was based off of Tim Tebow’s teary interview after the Florida Gators lost to Alabama in the SEC Championship game, which ended his college career.
In one experiment, 150 college football players with an average age of 19 were randomly assigned to four groups to read different vignettes about “Jack” — a football player who cries after a football game. In the vignettes, Jack either sobs or tears up after his team loses or wins. The players in the experiment were mostly white and played for one of two teams, one from the NCAA Division II and the other at the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics level.
Those who read about Jack tearing up after losing thought his behavior was appropriate, but drew the line at his sobbing. The players also said they were more likely to tear up than sob if they were in Jack’s situation. Players who read vignettes in which Jack sobs after losing a game said his reaction was more typical among football players than the players who read that Jack sobs after his team won the game.
The study found players do feel pressure to conform to these gender roles. But players who were never affectionate toward their teammates were less satisfied with life. – APA
These findings were reported in a special section of Psychology of Men & Masculinity.