One section of the article is titled "Is it really all about the money?". Another section is titled "Sport is not its externalities". In that section there are many sentences reflecting the sentiments expressed in the above paragraph. Here are some. "... sport is not performed for its externalities. It has a meaning of its own that is the basis for it being performed. ... At the end of the day, the backbone of sport is not its externalities, not the products, but the athletes and the practice community to which they belong. I'm not sure their primary legitimation for investing so much of their lives in sport ."
Of course, it is possible to view sport through an economics, sociology, or management lens. The author, Hallgeir Gammelsaeter, is guilty to some extent of doing something similar. The full title of the article is "Sport is Not an Industry: bringing sport back to sport management". But the value of the article is the statements about the essence of sport. Another sentence that particularly took my fancy was "We do not ask our 6-year-old if they want to work in the sports industry".
We can enjoyably engage in the study of sport, e.g. the economics of sport, and it could even be part of our employment. We can enjoyably engage in the consumption of the sporting performances of athletes. But these are at least one step removed from the reason sport exists.