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Unrighteous Sundays: Is the NFL unethical?

By Corby Burger
8 Sep 2014
NFL Owners are Tax Takers,” DonkeyHotey, via Flicker (CC BY 2.0)

This past weekend marked the beginning of the National Football League’s regular season schedule. Jeb Lund of The Guardian decided to commemorate the opening with an article entitled, “Does watching the NFL make you evil?” His op-ed is an eye opening collection of ethical criticisms concerning America’s favorite game. Lund points to examples of racism, sexism, corruption and all encompassing corporate greed that will cause even the most hardcore fan to rethink the way in which they view the National Football League.

Football is no longer just a game; it is a billion dollar industry. This transformation of innocent athletic competition into profitable business has created a plethora of moral conundrums that everyone, especially those who follow the league with a near cult-like devotion, must come to face. Lund points out the unwillingness of the NFL or its fans to take action in the name of these ethical dilemmas and how our personal moral compromises due to our love of the game will only perpetuate the current system. So, should we sideline our fandom because it is the ethical thing to do? Do you believe that “…when the game is right – when it really goes right – it is beautiful enough, even for just a little while, to let us forget everything else?” And what does it say about our collective societal values if we are willing to let our morals take a backseat to athletic entertainment.

Read what Jeb Lund has to say and see if you’re still cheering come this Sunday.

Corby was a lead intern at the Janet Prindle Institute for Ethics in 2015 and graduated from DePauw University in 2016 with majors in Political Science and Economics.
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