Modern Sports Ethics: A Reference Handbook

Modern Sports Ethics: A Reference Handbook

Modern Sports Ethics: A Reference Handbook

Modern Sports Ethics: A Reference Handbook


An examination of both ethical and unethical behaviors in sports designed to help readers analyze the notion that participating in sports builds character.

• Biographical sketches of individuals who have made significant contributions in shaping sports ethics, including John Wooden, Arthur Ashe, and James Naismith

• A data and documents chapter that provides context for the examination of specific challenges in sports, such as those faced by young athletes and female athletes


Examples of unethical conduct in amateur sport are reported nonstop by the electronic and print media. These ethical issues are associated with an overemphasis on winning and commercialism that have taken amateur sport away from the ideals of playing sports for the inherent joy and personal satisfac tion of challenging oneself against a respected opponent or a performance standard. Cheating to gain unfair advantages, gamesmanship ploys, the use of performance-enhancing drugs, recruiting scandals, academic misconduct associated with ath letes, discriminatory practices against females and African Amer icans, and other breaches of principled behavior have become everyday realities in sports. Many fans, who want to be enter tained as they cheer their favorite teams, have come to accept questionably ethical actions as normative behavior and the way the game should be played to help secure the all-important victory.

For well over a century, millions in the United States have claimed that youth, interscholastic, intercollegiate, and Olympic sports teach positive values. Yet, many people argue that sport ethics is a contradictory combination of words, or an oxymoron. If ethical conduct is to characterize sports, coaches, players, administrators, parents, and fans need to teach, model, and reinforce character development and positive values. To address ethical challenges like taunting, disrespect for opponents and officials, and cheating, this handbook on sport ethics emphasizes sportsmanship, respect for the game, fair play, and making morally reasoned decisions as essential to ensuring that positive values and character will be taught, learned, and demonstrated.

Chapter 1 includes a historical context for examining sport ethics, specifically how character development and sports are . . .

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