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Riley Chuss ENGL- 1102 Lucy Steele 4/29/2014 Morality in Sport Morality and ethics are subjective.

Sports are a beloved pastime that millions enjoy. That being said, sports can skew peoples perception of ethical behavior in and out of the game. Sports icons have shown theyre prone to make mistakes. However, the fact that theyre icons means they are held to a greater standard. This placement on a pedestal can get to athletes or some seem just to not care. There have been many recent incidents involving ethical behavior in sports. Attributing the fault for the dilemma is disputable. Some have dove into this topic and have shed light on this subject, and as a prospective sports journalist I feel I can provide insight as well. Sports have been a part of our culture for hundreds of years. There used to be something said for playing with integrity, sportsmanship. However over the years it seems the way the job gets done is not as important as if it gets done. This directly reflects our results based society. This raises the question are the athletes at fault, or is it the culture around them that entices their actions. Kirk O. Hanson, an executive director at Santa Clara Universitys Markkula Center for Applied Ethics, studies the role of ethics in all facets of life.(Executive Director) Hanson, an alumnus of Stanford University, typically looks into business ethics, but he collaborated with fellow Cardinal Matt Savage. Matt is currently a consultant at Accenture, a consulting company. Matt, a former golf player and business major at Stanford, teamed up with Mr. Hanson to explain ethics in sports.(Matthew Savage) They collectively wrote a piece examining how ethics plays into sports called Sports Ethics: Mapping the Issues. Hanson and Savage reveal a key difference between sportsmanship and gamesmanship. The difference being sportsmanship is playing the game the way it was intended, with fairness

integrity, responsibility, and respect. On the other hand, gamesmanship is where participants attempt to gain an edge over their opponent by any means. Sportsmanship is obviously the envisioned way games were to be played, but competition made gamesmanship inevitable. Hanson and Savage note that sports can be considered to have a bracketed morality. This means that sports are an exception from the same morals and ethics everything else tries to abide by. They describe how a football player can be describe as kind and caring off the field, but on the field labeled as nasty and ruthless(Sports Ethics: Mapping the Issues). This tells me that the environment affects judgment. This brings me to another mans take on morality in sports. Dan Le Batard is sportswriter for the Miami Herald that graduated from the University of Miami. He hosts self-titled radio and television shows(Dan Le Batard). As a sportswriter, Dan reviews the various aspects of sports. He was involved in an incident where he left fans to poll to vote for his vote in the Baseball Hall of Fame selection process. Le Batard claims that the voting is moralizing(Dan Le Batard).. He wrote an article entitled, Dan Le Batard: Issues of morality in sports exist in confusing gray area, that provided comprehension to ethics and morality in sports. Le Batards take on morality is that the culture of sports is to blame. Dan emphasizes that during certain situations, actions are looked at differently. He also provides amazing examples of why this is true. While Hanson and Savage consider sports to be an exception, Le Batard argues that we create the exceptions. While we revere athletes for playing through injury, we condemn them as cheaters if they take a supplement to aid the healing process in order to play the next game. Le Batard uses the example of Kobe Bryant and Peyton Manning receiving zero scrutiny for getting their blood spun and having incredible seasons to follow, but Lance Armstrongs blood doping is looked at as one of sports biggest disappointments. Another example is Ronnie Lott being praised for his toughness when he cut off part of his finger to finish a game, but when Ray Lewis used deer antler spray to speed up recovery so he can play, he was scrutinized. Fans push their favorite athletes to do near super human things but then fail to understand why they use these supplements. Le Batard conclusively describes our society as barbaric as we justify cutting of fingers but not using supplements to heal(Issues of Morality in Sports). The fans control the sport. This means that if they want something to change in their sport, collectively they can do it. The reason they can do this is because the hold the money that

pays the sports leagues. For instance, if fans truly wanted to see better protection of football players they would stop watching the gladiator like sport. But thats the issue. We enjoy watching the unthinkable, the impossible. Fans have come to expect athletes to accomplish near superhuman feats. With our pressure for this to happen, it is obvious that athletes would start to look for ways to do the impossible. If someone doesnt they are left behind as a mere memory. So athletes are caught in a tough place, as they attempt to remain at the highest level of play naturally, others are willing to use alternatives to achieve this. Once they notice the change around them they want to do the same to stay relevant. If they are caught cheating, fans question the athlete why before questioning themselves. At first I thought athletes and other sports personnel were the ones solely at fault for the immoralities in sports. After investigating the issue, my eyes were redirected at myself, the fan. Dan Le Batard, Kirk Hanson, and Matt Savages articles got me to think about the reasoning behind the actions of athletes. Its sometimes hard to put things in perspective, but in their position would you make the same choice?

"Matthew Savage." World's Largest Professional Network. N.p., n.d. Web. 28 Apr. 2014. <http://www.linkedin.com/pub/matthew-savage/10/733/730>.

"Dan Le Batard | MiamiHerald.com." The Miami Herald. N.p., n.d. Web. 28 Apr. 2014. <http://www.miamiherald.com/sports/columnists/dan_le_batard/>. "Executive Director." Kirk O Hanson. N.p., n.d. Web. 28 Apr. 2014. <https://www.scu.edu/ethics/about/people/directors/executive/hanson/>.

"Sports Ethics: Mapping the Issues." Sports Ethics: Mapping the Issues. N.p., Aug. 2012. Web. 28 Apr. 2014. <http://www.scu.edu/ethics/publications/submitted/sports-ethics-issues.html>.

Le Batard, Dan. "Dan Le Batard: Issues of Morality in Sports Exist in Confusing Gray Area - Dan Le Batard - MiamiHerald.com." The Miami Herald. N.p., 3 Feb. 2013. Web. 28 Apr. 2014.

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