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Ethics In Sports

Ethics, perhaps the most undervalued of qualities throughout recent history, is defined as the set of moral principles that regulate one’s behavior. Furthermore, ethics is not limited to any one part of the human experience, and the significance of ethics shows itself in a wide array of areas, including the world of sports. All the sporting world was held captive in the early months of 2014 as news began to break regarding Ray Rice’s abhorrent actions towards his then-fiancée. Rice has since been cut from the Ravens’ roster and remains without NFL employment. Despite efforts of reconciliation, Rice remains both stigmatized and haunted by one of the most public cases of athlete domestic violence. Rice is not alone, however, in his actions, as the NFL holds a rich history of domestic violence and assault allegations amongst its athletes. This past season, Kansas City Chiefs wide receiver and return specialist Tyreek Hill burst onto the NFL stage as one of the league’s most electrifying and exciting players. However, Hill’s rise to stardom took place without the vast majority of his fans knowing that he strangled and assaulted his pregnant girlfriend in December 2014. Hill remains an active member of the Chief’s roster and is in line to make over two million dollars before his current contract expires. Why the stark contrast? Were Hill’s actions not every bit as heinous as Rice’s? Can we bring ourselves to delight in the successes of Hill, a man with such a troubled past? What role must second chances and forgiveness play in domestic violence within the world of sports? Each of these questions have perplexed the media, the sporting world at large, and everyday fans; we all struggle to cope with and manage the complex, sensitive, and crucially significant issue that is domestic violence. Fortunately, both Dr. Melvoin’s ethics class and our time as students at Belmont Hill have allowed us all to learn the moral obligations and responsibilities of men growing up in today’s society.

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