Blood, Sweat, and Tears

dennis rodman

Growing up as an athlete, it is hard not to think that everyone has been faced with the decision on the field of whether to act morally or whether to go for the win.  In reality, what’s more important to play with a morally sound base or to get the “W” for your team?  For me, its similar to the situation of the separation between ethics and business that we have discussed in class.  Although, I do not agree with this perspective in the professional work world, I do agree with in terms of professional sports world.  Does that even make sense?  I believe that ethics are extremely important in the business world, but I cannot say I have been the biggest proponent of ethics in sports.  Maybe this is because I have grown up in such a competitive sports family or maybe it just because my desire to win in sports affects me more than my desire to conduct business in any way possible.

Ethics in sports can be considered a topic that affects all different age groups no matter where you come from.  I remember being as young as 5 or 6 years old and trying to decide how I should conduct myself on the soccer field.  Of course, at this age I didn’t really know it was considered ethics but it was still going on.  I remember coaches of my travel team yelling and sometimes even encouraging us to “play dirty”.  It’s rather irrational for a 5 year old to be faced with this decision isn’t it?  I didn’t know whether I should be pulling on a player’s shirt if he was faster than me or if I should slow down if I knew a member of the opposing team had been hurt thus causing play to be unfair.

I think in my experience, I had things embedded in me at such a young age that I was unable to really change these factors.  My emotions run too high in sports to not fall back on what I’ve always been told, which is to play for the win, no matter what.  Perhaps, this is a result of the figures around me.  My coaches and my dad, which were sometimes synonymous always taught me to do whatever it takes to be the best.  I realize this isn’t the best way to be raised but this amount of pressure at such a young age caused me to separate the concepts of ethics and sports.  This type of pressure is something that is insurmountable at the age of 5.  In my opinion, your value of ethics and sports is directly correlated to your upbringing along with values that were instilled into you by adult figures.


2 thoughts on “Blood, Sweat, and Tears

  1. I have so many stories of “foul play” that I have seen in my athletic career. I once remember my coach told our defense to hit the quarterback on every play, even if he didn’t have the ball, to try and knock him out of the game. Later down the road, that quarterback got knocked out with a severe concussion and we won the game in the fourth quarter. Did we get the victory, yes, but at what cost? Will that kid be able to play again next week? Will he have future brain affects from the concussion? Or how far will my coach really go just to get a victory? It’s these kinds of questions why you need proper ethics in sports. Roger Goodell last season suspended coaches and players that were involved in the Saints bounty scandal. He wanted to show the sports world that the league won’t tolerate foul play anymore. I believe he did this to inspire other leagues to do the same.

  2. I do believe that your upbringing and surrounding have a major influence on your ethics when it comes to sports. Although, I think that when we grow older we have a conscious effort to play clean or play dirty. Like Jackson stated at what costs do victories come? I was on goalie on my high school varsity team and we a strong team in the playoffs. Long story short, I got a foot to my face on purpose on a corner kick. I got my 2nd concussion and I wasn’t allowed to play contact sports for 8 months. I still feel the effects today and I will never forget someone telling me that the coach gave the player who knocked me out a high five in the huddle. I think only negative consequences will come from the separation of sports and ethics.


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