Everyone thinks of changing the world, but no one thinks of changing himself – Leo Tolstoy

                Over the past couple of weeks we have been doing some soul searching in our Philosophies and Ethics class to understand how our own morals and ethics play into our philosophies of sport, and in general life.  Sounds simple enough, but once you really begin to dissect all the underlying ideologies and beliefs that one has, then it becomes easier to understand your philosophies and how those will affect your judgment in the future. You may be asking why is this important?  In today’s sporting world we are seeing an epidemic of moral and ethical depletion in almost every level of sport.  From the highest level of the MLB, NFL, and NHL down to the local high school leagues moral and ethical behavior is diminishing. 2011, and the beginning of 2012, saw some horrific and disturbing scandals that rocked the sporting world.  The biggest scandal from 2011 was Jerry Sandusky, former Penn State Defensive Coordinator and his child sexual abuse cases. Ryan Braun tested positive for synthetic testosterone after winning the 2011 National League MVP is still awaiting his appeal. Miami University Athletic Department was surrounded in scandals when a booster gave inappropriate benefits to football and men’s basketball players.  We also saw massive global scandals engulf the sports leagues. Dozens of players and officials were brought up on charges of game-fixing in Turkey’s highest soccer league.  Three members of FIFA Board have been accused of accepting bribery charges in awarding Qatar the 2022 World Cup and the International Olympic Committee is always under scrutiny for allegations of bribery and power struggles.  The list of scandals could go on and on.

In today’s “win at all costs” mentality we need to take a step back, look at where we are and where we want to go as a society.  As future industry leaders we need to be the voices of change in sports.  Sports has always been a microcosmic of society as a whole. However in order to change the world, we need to understand our own morals and ethics and practice what we preach. True, there always will be cheating in sports, and in life.  At Canisius, especially in the MSA program, classes like Philosophies and Ethics force us to take a deep look at our philosophies and how our own morals and ethics plays into it.  As the quotation reaffirms we must first conquer our own morals and ethics if we ever want to change the system we so passionately believe in.  So today I ask you to think about your own morals and ethics and how those play into your philosophies? How does your philosophies and ethics play into your understanding of Sport?

Until next time, take care!