When Donald Trump suggested via Twitter that Derek Jeter's broken ankle may have been a karmic reaction to selling his Trump World Tower apartment, he unleashed an outpouring of support for the New York Yankees star. But he also raised questions about the concept of karma.
According to HowStuffWorks, karma has roots in Eastern religions such as Hinduism and Buddhism, but the concept has morphed into Western popular culture as well.
In Western culture, karma is more akin to superstition or luck influenced by one's actions. When Trump tweeted about Jeter's ankle, for example, he was insinuating that he was being punished for selling the apartment.
In Eastern religions, karma is part of a spiritual and ethical way of life, often experienced in reincarnation. Live a good life now, in other words, to improve your lot in your next life.
"The word 'karma' has its roots in the Sanskrit word 'karman,' which means 'act,'" according to HowStuffWorks.
When Helena Blavatsky and Henry Steel Olcott founded the Theosophical Society in 1875 in New York City, they introduced the United States to a modified version of karma, beginning its secular roots in modern culture.
Trump's comment was not the first statement about karma in sports to draw ire: In 1999, Glenn Hoddle has lost his job as British soccer coach when he suggested that disabled people were experiencing karma as a result of sins committed in prior lives.
Image: Derek Jeter #2 of the New York Yankees is carried off the field after he
fractured his left ankle in the top of the 12th inning against the
Detroit Tigers. Credit: Mark Cunningham/MLB Photos via Getty Images