Fair Play: Sports, Values, & Society

Professor of Philosophy Bob Simon is the author of Fair Play: Sports, Values, & Society. We have become used to the world of sports being rocked by scandals. Stars are deprived of their Olympic gold medals because of their use of performance-enhancing drugs; heroes are suspended or banned from their sport for gambling or for connections to gambling; major universities are involved in recruiting scandals and are accused of exploiting their own students. But ethical concerns about sports run deeper than the current scandals in today's headlines.

Athletic competition itself has been criticized as reflecting a selfish concern with winning at the expense of others. Some question the emphasis on an athletically skilled elite at the expense of broader participation by the masses, and many worry about what constitutes sex equality in sports. Others believe the role of sports ought to be greatly diminished in our educational institutions. Do organized competitive sports have a legitimate place in our schools, and, if so, how is that place to be defined?Professor Simon develops a model of athletic competition as a mutually acceptable quest for excellence and applies it to these and other ethical issues in sports. The discussion of each topic deals with examples from the world of sport, illuminated by philosophical work on such values as fairness, justice, integrity, and respect for rights. Fair Play offers a rigorous exploration of the ethical presuppositions of competitive athletics and their connections to moral and ethical theory that will challenge the views of scholars, students, and the general reader. Our understanding of sports as a part of society will be reshaped by this accessible and entertaining book.


"The discussion of each topic deals with examples from the present-day world of sports, highlighted by philosophical commentary on such values as fairness, justice, integrity, and respect for rights.… Recommended."

"Clear, thoughtful, and persuasive, Fair Play is an important contribution to sports philosophy literature and deserves strong consideration as a text for courses on sports, philosophy, and society."
-David Fairchild, President, Philosophical Society for the Study of Sport

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