Latest "Sports Ethics" Posts

Sports Ethics: Is the FBI hunting for Tom Brady’s Jersey?

Several years ago, I was in a road race and I came in second. My mom, in an attempt to be funny asked me: “How many were in the race? Two?”  No, it was three. Well, it was actually more like 100 but that’s not the point. My prized medal has gone missing, and I have no idea where. What are my chances of contacting the FBI to help me in my search? I understand they are now specializing in that kind of stuff.

No Axe to Grind

OK all you Pats fans, before you go ballistic in attacking me for being anti-Tom Brady, let me say that in my opinion (for what it’s worth), I think he is the greatest quarterback who has ever played the game, and that includes Ryan Leaf, Akili Smith and anyone else who might come to mind. It isn’t about them either or even Brady.

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Lexi Thompson: If No One Sees It, It’s Still Ethical?

When first reading this post, many of you may think, “Chuck, why are you commenting on golf today?” I’m not, I am going to talk about the perceptions many have about ethics in 2017 and Lexi Thompson lived that sports ethics moment!

Lexi Thompson is an incredible golfer. You certainly don’t need me to tell you that. On March 25, 2017 (a Saturday), she was playing the final round of the LPGA ANA Inspiration golf tournament. It was at the beautiful Mission Hills Country Club in Rancho Mirage, California.

In that final round, Lexi Thompson was way out in front. Then she proceeded to violate the rules by picking up her ball to “mark it” before making a putt and then she put it back in the wrong place. No official saw it happen. Incredibly, a television viewer did see it. The viewer emailed the golf association a day later explaining what she had seen.

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Sports Ethics – The Financial Downfall of Trent Richardson

Trent RichardsonTrent Richardson, like many professional sports figures, was never effectively trained in how to handle success. Like many athletes he learned his sport with the fine art of practice and muscle memory, but who teaches athletes ethical and financial muscle memory?

Reared in a loving home, but poor by many standards, Richardson knew that if his time came he’d take care of those who were there for him. So when he signed a four-year $20.5 million contract with the Cleveland Browns, Richardson made good on his mental promise.

He bоught a ѕix-bеdrооm house in Cleveland fоr $825,000 аnd rеntеd hiѕ mоm a house there, too. He hаd a сhаnсе tо mаkе ѕurе his mоm never hаd tо work аgаin. In like manner he bought hiѕ grаndmоthеr a house in Pensacola fоr $350,000. Mission accomplished!

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Ryan Lochte Inc. Had a (Really) Bad Week

The Ryan Lochte Story can be viewed as a sports story to be sure, but it is really about choices, consequences and the crash of a company. The Olympic career of Ryan Lochte was going to be over and done with in any case, this was to be his last competition. He could have stood on the podium, had his moment in the sun and then started the next chapter in his life.

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Sports Ethics: Who Owns Your Event Tickets?

There is a disturbing trend not only in sports, but with major event tickets – and the question of who owns the tickets you buy and who controls them. While you obviously believe that if you buy a ticket to a major sporting or entertainment event that you own that ticket, if you try to sell the ticket for any reason, the result might be a huge loss – or no sale at all.  This is a sports ethics question.

Sports TicketsIf a current New York State probe expands from sports to other events – as those conducting the investigation believe, it could find that hundreds of thousands, if not millions of dollars in losses have already been taken from customers.

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Posted by Chuck Gallagher in Sports Ethics and tagged , , ,

Bob Lobel and the Woodland Golf Club: The Ethics of Accessibility

There is an irony to the case of Bob Lobel. The former Boston sportscaster has been barred from the Woodland Golf Club and playing the sport he loves. He was an iconic sports figure in the Boston area, and I am sure that many people in his golf club once wanted to be in his close group of friends and associates. Now, he is forced to sit on the sidelines.

Bob LobelHe suffers from a lousy disease known as spinal stenosis which is slowly crippling him. He must get around the course on a golf cart. The club has determined that the cart damages its greens. In an article by Melinda Cartensen (November 23, 2015) for FoxNews entitled: “Disabled Boston sportscaster files discrimination lawsuit against golf club,” an ethically interesting case featuring Bob Lobel is starting to evolve.

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UNC-Chapel Hill and Sports Ethics

As a North Carolinian anyone in the state would have agreed – UNC-Chapel Hill was the bastion of outstanding education and sports in the state.  Of course, Duke fans would have clearly placed their program ahead of Chapel Hill, but for state funded institutions Chapel Hill ranked at the top.  Until…

UNC Chapel Hill and Sports EthicsDeborah Crowder has now, and for years to come, tarnished the name of UNC-Chapel Hill both academically and in their sports franchise.  Crowder was a longtime clerical employee at the Department of African and Afro-American Studies who provided athletes fake classes for high grades for 16 years.

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Draft Kings vs FanDuel in an Unethical Battle!

It is nearly impossible to turn on a television program, especially one devoted to sports and to not see an advertisement for Draft Kings vs FanDuel, the two organizations who have been promoting online fantasy gambling.

Draft Kings vs FanDuelWhat is fantasy gambling? At its simplest, most basic explanation, it allows a gambler the ability to make up a fictitious team of players from many existing teams and to bet that the team will outperform every other team in the same sport during a given period. The gambler is given a fantasy budget with which to acquire players. When the fantasy team is assembled, the gambler competes against other gamblers in a large pool.

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Vin Baker: An Ethical Hero

I suppose this could be a professional basketball story, but it is really a life story. It is an inspiring, second chances story. It is also a work in progress, and maybe that is the point. We are all works in progress.

In an article appearing online for CNBC by writer Fred Imbert entitled, “Ex-NBA center Vin Baker now working at Starbucks: Vin Baker Report,” we read about a man who was once a giant (there’s no pun intended) on the basketball court who took a very hard fall. Vin Baker was an NBA all-star with the former NBA team Seattle Supersonics.

According to the piece:

“Baker battled alcoholism toward the end of his 13-year career, and a series of financial troubles led to him losing nearly $100 million in earnings.”

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The Dumbest Move in Little League Softball – A Sports Ethics Minute

Decisions made quickly have almost immediate consequences in this day and age. This is a Sports Ethics minute highlighting a teachable moment in Little League Softball and what happens when ethics are thrown to the wind.

Little League SoftballWhile I’m not a mind reader, I can almost hear the commentary in my head.  The coaches for West region team from Snohomish, Washington (Little League team) fresh off a tough win against Central Iowa are saying to themselves – “Wow.  Hope we don’t have to play them again!  Hey, if we throw the game we won’t have to play Central Iowa again in the semi-finals.”

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Posted by Chuck Gallagher in Sports Ethics and tagged , , , , , , ,