WEEK 5.1 DISCUSSION
Recently, a large scale cheating scandal involving the Houston Astros baseball organization rocked the world of professional sports, and the media has been dominated with domestic abuse stories involving some of our favorite professional athletes.
When the media learned of Tiger Woods’ car accident outside his home, it leaked a story that Woods had been involved in extramarital affairs with multiple women. As a result, Woods suffered the loss of millions in endorsements and damage to his brand (not to mention the loss of his marriage). He was forced to take time away from his career to deal with his personal life. Interestingly and maybe not coincidentally, his golf game has not been the same since the off- the-course distractions began. The sport of golf was affected as well, as Woods was a particularly popular player idealized by many.
This story is already “old news,” but every day, it seems, another sports figure is alleged to have committed some ethical faux pas that is captured by the media. Consider the continued saga of Deflategate in which air was intentionally released from footballs during a playoff game to change the balls’ handling. This scandal brought forth implications for the NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, New England Patriots Quarterback Tom Brady, and the whole New England Patriots team. People do eventually forgive and forget most indiscretions, but why do these sport figures appear to fall so hard, so fast? It is because there is an aspect that is unique to sports: a dissonance between the heroism of these sports personalities who are lauded as heroes and the reality of their human behaviors. This dissonance is promoted by the media as it heralds athletes as heroes but then is equally eager to catch them and share details of their weakest moments.
> Use the Learning Materials to help you with this Discussion.
Conduct research on two sport ethical dilemmas related to media that are related to the uniqueness of professional sports, as noted in your Learning Materials.
• What are the issues that enter into these dilemmas? • How does the unique relationship between sport and the media influence ethics in
professional sports? • What are the ethical ramifications of certain types of media on professional sports (e.g.,
social media, television)?
Post an explanation of the ethical dilemmas you chose. Then, explain how the ethical dilemmas are influenced by both the unique nature of professional sports and the media.