Sport is meant to carry an element of intimidation, bullying almost as teams fight for dominance, using whatever psychological weaponry they can lay their hands on.
It's not, however, supposed to have that same level of aggression, within its administration, and yet there are now executive hitmen in various places trying to flex their muscles.
In the last few days, the head of Australia's International Olympic Committee, John Coates, publicly belittled Queensland premier Annastacia Palaszczuk by telling her she would be attending the opening ceremony at the Tokyo Olympics, and "not hiding in her hotel room".
Barely a day later and Rugby Football League chairman Simon Johnson told New Zealand and Australia they had made a "selfish, parochial and cowardly decision" in opting to pull out of the World Cup to be held in the UK in October.
These administrative enforcers have found their voice on the eve of the Olympics beginning – an event where thousands of athletes have gathered in Tokyo, against the express wishes of the Japanese people and with the organisers having not ruled out pulling the plug on the whole event.
To some degree, the frustration being felt by those paid to organise major sporting events is understandable.
The global pandemic hasn't fallen into line the way everyone hoped and vaccine rollouts have clearly not happened at a uniform speed or efficiency around the world.
The global sporting picture is wildly mixed. The British & Irish Lions are in the midst of a Covid-19 ravaged tour in South Africa – played in one venue behind closed doors.
The Olympics, too, are playing out to ghost stadiums, and yet there were 90,000 people at Wembley to see England play Italy in the final of the European Football Championships and full crowds at Wimbledon.
Those who love sport and are paid to organise big events want their old world of certainty back – one where they don't have to consider public health, predict border settings or operate with detailed hygiene and bubble protocols.
But as much as they crave this world, it is not the one in which we currently live and while it's understandable that frustration and anger persist in regard to Covid wagging its long tail, it's not forgivable to berate and bully those who don't want to expose themselves to what they feel is an unduly high risk.
There are real and serious public health risks attached to any mass gathering or sporting event at the moment and not everyone will assess those risks in the same way.
What should have become apparent to bully boys such as Coates and Johnson in the last 18 months, is that it's almost impossible to predict how individuals perceive the risks of Covid-19 and that not everyone agrees that hosting major sports events is a means to lift the spirits of a beleaguered population or prove the virus is being defeated.
High-performance athletes are no different and while most are young and highly conditioned and don't fear necessarily for themselves, they carry the guilt of knowing they could be conductors and spreaders of the virus, impacting the vulnerable all in the name of chasing their personal dreams.
To not travel to play, however, creates another level of stress around missed opportunity and potentially, missed income.
These are not normal times and we can be certain that for every fan that was willing to pile into Wembley for the Euro final earlier this month, there would have been another, maybe two, who thought it was mad.
Never in the history of sport has the right to make a personal choice been so important and it is imperative that athletes, coaches, and administrators feel they can make decisions about whether to travel to play sport without fear of recrimination or public humiliation.
This has to be front of mind ahead of the Bledisloe Cup and Rugby Championship – whose futures are now decidedly uncertain given the suspension of the transtasman travel bubble.
A plan that was predicated on all four participating teams being able to travel between New Zealand and Australia without quarantine has now been scuppered by the Delta variant.
There will be some frantic logistic scrambling in the next few days in an attempt to come up with a new plan on how to salvage the tournament – but inevitably it will burden some with an added sacrifice, be it extended time away from home, forfeiting a scheduled home test and possibly even a period in quarantine.
Whatever the plan, the athletes in all four teams are now facing a higher degree of stress and mental anguish than they were anticipating, compounded by the sense that the world hasn't returned to anywhere near the sort of normality we appeared to be reaching even a few weeks ago, keeping alive the question of whether major sports events are a welcome distraction or a reckless irrelevancy.
What all professional athletes and coaches need right now is the confidence they can make decisions about where and when to play that are right for them, without being judged.
Even if public health officials, medical experts, and governments all agree an event is safe, that may not be enough to persuade all athletes that taking part is the right thing to do.
The last thing anyone needs is the likes of Coates and Johnson, blinded by infantile rage because they haven't been able to get what they want.