Archive for September 2014

Who Knows the Heart of a Religious Athlete?

Husain Abdullah

Blogging about religion on a Sports Ethics website is fraught with danger. Religion is not a neutral topic; it can be polarizing and it invariably leads to grandstanding and misunderstanding. It is not my role to tell anyone what to believe in or how to pray. Let me get that real clear and real fast. Football is a game of great passion. It is also a game of great strength, endurance and focus; that is true, but it is also a sport with exhilarating highs and lows. Huge men, huge […]

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Brady Hoke under (Ethical) Fire at Michigan

Coach Brady Hoke

There have been the best of times at Michigan, but these appear to be the worst, or close to it. Coach Brady Hoke, head coach of the Wolverines, has been in place since 2011. He has been under fire for the lousy team record for quite some time. We understand, it goes with the territory; in sports and in every other aspect of life, if you don’t produce, you’re out. Brady Hoke is a grown-up in the tough game of Division 1 football. He knows the score – literally. Maybe […]

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Why the NFL had better (ethically) care about your 9 year old

images (2)

 At the risk of comparing apples to oranges or soccer balls to footballs, I will cite a few statistics and try to make an ethical point or two. According to statistics from U.S. Youth Soccer, in 1990 about 1.6 million kids registered for soccer; from 2010 to the present, about 3.0 million kids register annually for soccer. These aren’t the kids playing soccer, but the new ones who have registered. There are currently about 13 million kids playing soccer at all levels. Between 2010 and 2012, Pop Warner football saw […]

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Bill Simmons, Rihanna and Superman’s Cape


“You don’t tug on Superman’s cape/You don’t spit into the wind/You don’t pull the mask off that old Lone Ranger/And you don’t mess around with Jim,” Jim Croce, “You Don’t Mess Around with Jim” (1972) About two weeks ago, at the very height of the Ray Rice domestic violence scandal, CBS decided to pull a song by Rihanna (“Run This Town”) on Thursday night football. The network didn’t like its “energy,” and they didn’t like re-introducing the fact that Rihanna, herself, had been the victim of domestic violence. The following […]

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Another Kind of Anniversary as the NHL Season Begins

Todd Bertuzzi at Press Conference (2004)

Time passes quickly in sports. We live from season to season and we are sometimes astonished when an old story pops up to remind us that things change. This “news” is about a month old: a settlement was finally reached Steve Moore-Todd Bertuzzi lawsuit. The settlement was more than 10 years in coming and was tried a thousand times by the media and hockey fans the world over.If you have no idea what I am talking about, I will give a very brief summary. We need to go back to […]

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Another Reason to Never Go to an NFL Game Again


As if the National Football League does not have enough problems, once again there were bunches of drunks who got into a brawls at two stadiums on Sunday (September 22, 2014) as the Arizona Cardinals were defeating the San Francisco 49ers at the University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Arizona, and the Eagles faced off against the Redskins. The brawls are all over the social media, and if you have two or three minutes to waste, you can look it up and see a bunch of drunk, grown-up children yelling things that […]

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Judge, Jury and Trial: The Media and Tony Stewart

Tony Stewart

“In the wake of the NFL struggling with how to handle players facing criminal charges, the same questions will be bound to surround Stewart…” Nate Ryan, USA TODAY (September 19, 2014) A strange, unsettling cloud has descended on Tony Stewart; the cloud is the media and right about now it is raining pretty hard on Stewart and NASCAR nation in general. Motorsports fans are being treated to a media show that is lumping all of the imagined ills in motorsports with all of the wrongs that have occurred in the […]

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Lady Ethics Must Also Be Blind: Yet Hope Solo Still Plays

Hope Solo

As I start this blog, I need to remind everyone of an inconvenient fact: domestic violence also includes households where women assault men. It happens; it is a fact of life and it is virtually, and almost always, under-reported due to the embarrassment and shame of the male being assaulted. Statistically, there is a wide swing in data, but some studies suggest it may be as high as 40 percent. Yes, I completely understand the terrible assaults and violence women endure. Again, and as preposterous as it sounds, many men […]

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An Open Ethical Letter to Mr. Roger Goodell

Roger Goodell Press Conference

 “We need to change our policies and we need to get some help figuring out how to do that.” — Mr. Roger Goodell 9/19/14 For the sake of this post, and for the sake of professional football (a sport I love), we are going to believe everything that NFL commissioner Roger Goodell said in his sweeping press conference today was true and from the bottom of his heart. He is really concerned, really sorry and really committed to correcting everything that is wrong. To be fair, just this once, we […]

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Who is Helping Jameis Winston? Apparently Nobody.

Jameis Winston

At the time of the writing of this blog (September 18, 2014), Florida State University is currently ranked #1 in all national football polls. Clemson University is hovering around #24 (we’ll get to Clemson shortly). The quarterback for FSU is an extremely talented athlete by the name of Jameis Winston (but you probably know that already). He is so talented, he won the Heisman trophy as a freshman, and everyone said he was a guaranteed lock to eventually go in the first round of the NFL draft; maybe #1 in […]

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