It helps, but it is not essential. It is critical to understand the game, the products you sell, and the customers (fans, media, and sponsors). Sports organizations will expect you have a passion for the game, competition, or event in which they participate. However, sports organizations are businesses. Businesses need to generate revenue and engage with their customers. You can learn about how sports organizations do that - particularly through Masters of Sports Administration programs - without having competed in sports at a high (or any) level.