Radio Times

The ethical challenges to being a sports fan

August 15, 2013

Guests:  Howard Bryant and Art Caplan

The news is filled with stories of professional athletes using steroids, committing crimes, and suffering with devastating brain damage caused by hard hits on the field. Then there are coaches who are charged with abusing their players and owners and managers who take the low moral ground when it comes to doling out fines and punishments. Add to all this the controversial issues surrounding lucrative college athletic programs that fail to educate student athletes and one could conclude that professional and amateur sports is in crisis. We’ve been thinking a lot lately about how hard it is to be an ethical sports fan. Can you overlook all that’s wrong? Is it possible to root for a team when sports are loaded with controversy? Should we even expect athletes be role models and is sports just a reflection of a troubled society? We’ll put these questions and more to our two guest – Sports writer HOWARD BRYANT and bioethicist ARTHUR CAPLAN.

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