Saturday, April 2, 2016

Legal, But Morally Dubious - Cheating in Sports

The champion athlete pursues every avenue to gain the “so-called” competitive edge.  More often than not taking this quest to the utmost gamble of the risk (if discovered) of losing everything.  Some people have made the statement to me, "legal, but morally dubious."    

However, what is “legal, but morally dubious?”  Who holds the authority on how to define and determine morality in sports.  Ultimately, is the fan?  The one who makes no decisions as to the course of the sport or its business, but pays dearly for its engaging entertainment value.  

Of course, “playing dirty,” “kicking your golf ball to improve your lie when no one is looking,” “corking your bat,” “deflating footballs,” etc., are much easier to define as there are rules agreed to by committees and competitors.  “Performance Enhancing Drugs” have been proven to make a difference between one who utilizes them over one who does not.  It is called an "uneven" playing field.  Therefore, committees, federations, competitors have staunchly taken up the mission to "level the playing field.  In some cases even to save lives and families.  

But I wonder about the court of public individual opinion and the personal determination of something being immoral and dubious.  Everyone always has an opinion.  At least on most subjects they are familiar with.  Go to a "sports" bar and you will find as many opinions as are in attendance. Therefore, morals and whether or not some thing or some act may be dubious is just that – an opinion.  It is not right or wrong.  Again, it is just an opinion. 

plural noun: morals
a lesson, especially one concerning what is right or prudent, that can be derived from a story, a piece of information, or an experience.
"the moral of this story was that one must see the beauty in what one has"
Synonyms: lesson, message, meaning, significance, signification, import, point, teaching
"the moral of the story"
a person's standards of behavior or beliefs concerning what is and is not acceptable for them to do.
"the corruption of public morals"
Synonyms: moral code, code of ethics, (moral) values, principles, standards, (sense of) morality, scruples
"he has no morals"  

hesitating or doubting.
"Alex looked dubious, but complied"
Synonyms: doubtful, uncertain, unsure, hesitant; More
not to be relied upon; suspect.
"extremely dubious assumptions"
Synonyms: suspicious, suspect, untrustworthy, unreliable, questionable;

So if an athlete is within the rules agreed upon by the committee and all competitors, but displays “suspect values,” is that athlete cheating?  

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