Ethics in Sports
What is it?
| Once upon a time, student athletes were students first, athletes second; the Olympics was about amateurism and the pursuit of excellence, not the pursuit of endorsements; and professional athletes enhanced the physics through rigorous work-outs, not through performance enhancing substances. No doubt athletic excellence is at an all time high, but are ethics in athletics at an all time low?
| Why should ethics be important to sports? There are two dimensions to ethics in sports: the ideal and the effect on society. Ken introduces the guest, Myles Brand, president of the NCAA. Hegel thought war promoted certain virtues and William James thought sports promoted those same virtues in a more moral way. Brand thinks that that misses the benefits of sports. What is it about sports that draws us in so much?
The British had a notion of amateurs in sports that played an important role in society. Brand says that notion has an important link to the NCAA. Amateur athletes are supposed to have some other occupation as a their main goal besides sports. Do student athletes sacrifice their studies to become top athletes? Brand says there are limits on the amount of weekly practice time and that many athletes are also top students. Brand thinks that the tendency for student athletes to view their sports as the center of their college days is a large problem. Some sports have a higher than average graduation rate, but some sports, such as basketball, have significantly lower than average graduation rates.
John asks Brand how he would integrate sports if he were to design society from the ground up. Brand points out that Plato's philosopher kings were supposed to actively engage in sports. Brand thinks the inclusion of sports in American collegiate life is both unique and beneficial to students. Brand emphasizes the importance of distinguishing the sport from the players and the level of the sport, e.g. college, pro, etc. Women's involvement in sports has increased dramatically recently. What effect has this had on college sports? What reforms should be enacted on sports in college? Brand thinks that the diversity in sports institutions contributes to helping athletes find their places.
Fair play - the winning way
(Qui joue loyalement est toujours gagnant)
The basic principle of the Code of Sports Ethics is that ethical considerations leading to fair play are integral, and not optional elements, of all sports activity, sports policy and management, and apply to all levels of ability and commitment, including recreational as well as competitive sport.
The Code provides a sound ethical framework to combat the pressures in modern day society, which appear to be undermining the traditional foundations of sport - foundations built on fair play and sportsmanship, and on the voluntary movement.
The primary concern and focus is Fair Play for children and young people, in the recognition that children and young people of today are the adult participants and sporting stars of tomorrow. The Code is also aimed at the institutions and adults who have a direct or indirect influence on young people's involvement and participation in sport.
The Code embraces the concepts of the right of children and young people to participate and enjoy their involvement in sport, and the responsibilities of the institutions and adults to promote fair play and to ensure that these rights are respected.
DEFINING FAIR PLAY
Fair play is defined as much more than playing with the rules. It incorporates the concepts of friendship, respect for others and always playing within the right spirit. Fair play is defined as a way of thinking, not just a way of behaving. It incorporates issues concerned with the elimination of cheating, gamesmanship, doping, violence (both physical and verbal), the sexual harassment and abuse of children, young people and women, exploitation, unequal opportunities,...
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