I have tried so hard to not write about sports (one of my biggest passions) all semester. I considered it to be unprofessional for me to discuss. HOWEVER, after reading this OpEd piece from an ESPN affiliate out of Detroit, I discovered the latest edition of “The Game” bears major relevance to our course topics.
One part I really enjoyed from the article is that it is not sour grapes from an diehard Michigan fan. Rather it is an analysis of the failures of the Big Ten conference and college athletics as a hole. In “The Game” there were a lot of questionable calls from the officiating crew that seemed one sided. It was discovered after the game that 2 refs were self-proclaimed huge Ohio State fans, one of which was barred from officiating one of their games in the past for fear of an unfair advantage. A 3rd ref, the head judge, was fired from the Big Ten for incompetence over 10 years ago.
There are a lot of approaches that prove this too be unethical. I want to focus on social contract. I believe that as fans (and this is not just with sports), we enter into a social contract with many entities like owners, referees, the NCAA, athletic conferences, etc. In the course of “The Game” this social contract was breached by many of the parties involved. We as fans give up time, money, and many other things (freedom) in order to enjoy an event. Why were these officials allowed to call the game? It seems insane to me that the cartels overseeing these sporting events would allow this non-sense to go on. Then I remember it all just big business and it doesn’t matter if we are talking about the Big Ten, the Ford Family, the NFL, Epipens, or Oil Pipelines, everyone is looking out for their bottom line and not worried about making Immanuel Kant roll over in his grave.