Modern Sport Ethics

A Reference Handbook, 2nd Edition

by Angela Lumpkin


In today's society, is the term "sport ethics" an oxymoron, or can sports still serve to teach character and moral values?

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Cover image for Modern Sport Ethics

December 2016


Pages 396
Volumes 1
Size 6x9
Topics Current Events and Issues/General
  Popular Culture/Sports, Recreation, and Leisure

The descriptions and examples of unethical behaviors in sport in this book will challenge readers to rethink how they view sport and question whether participating in sport builds character—especially at the youth and amateur levels.

Sport potentially can teach character as well as social and moral values, but only when these positive concepts are consistently taught, modeled, and reinforced by sport leaders with the moral courage to do so. The seeming moral crisis threatening amateur and youth sport—evidenced by athletes, coaches, and parents alike making poor ethical choices—and ongoing scandals regarding performance-enhancing drug use by professional athletes make sports ethics a topic of great concern. This work enables readers to better understand the ethical challenges facing competitive sport by addressing issues such as gamesmanship, doping, cheating, sportsmanship, fair play, and respect for the game.

A compelling read for coaches, sport administrators, players, parents, and sport fans, the book examines specific examples of unethical behaviors—many cases of which occur in amateur and educational sports—to illustrate how these incidents threaten the perception that sport builds character. It identifies and investigates the multiple reasons for cheating in sport, such as the fact that the rewards for succeeding are so high, and the feeling of athletes that they must behave as they do to "level the playing field" because everyone else is cheating, being violent, taking performance-enhancing drugs, or doing whatever it takes to win. Readers will gain insight into how coaches and sport administrators can achieve the goals for youth, interscholastic, intercollegiate, and Olympic sport by stressing moral values and character development as well as see how specific recommendations can help ensure that sport can serve to build character rather than teach bad behavior in the pursuit of victory.


  • Describes and analyzes key ethical issues, such as cheating, fair play, violence, discriminatory actions, and the use of performance-enhancing drugs, in a single volume
  • Identifies how ethical problems in sport affect sport in the United States and internationally but also significantly impact society overall
  • Examines significant events and influential individuals to provide a historical and sociological context for understanding how and why individuals behave unethically in sport
  • Provides a wealth of information and resources that describe how poor behaviors of athletes, coaches, and parents in sport can be changed through educational interventions and a reemphasis on values like integrity
Series Description

Contemporary World Issues

This award-winning series offers comprehensive, one-volume reference handbooks on important topics related to health, education, the environment, and social and ethical issues.

24-hour cable news. Millions of Internet sites. Information overload. How can we sort through the information? Assess the analyses? Trust the sources?

A world of questions demands a library of answers. Contemporary World Issues covers the controversial topics that students, readers, and citizens want to read about, write about, and know more about.


  • Subject coverage spans six main categories:
  • Criminal Justice
  • Environment
  • Gender and Ethnicity
  • Politics, Law, and Government
  • Science, Technology, and Medicine
  • Society
  • Each volume offers a rich array of resources:
  • A background and history essay that provides essential context and grounding for further study
  • A balanced summary of ongoing controversies and proposed solutions that show numerous paths for further research on pressing, contemporary questions
  • A forum of authoritative perspective essays by experts, offering a broad spectrum of arguments on the issues
  • Carefully selected annotated documents, tables, and graphs that supports statistical literacy and investigation of primary sources
  • A chronology of events, legislation, and movements that place events in sequence and draw connections between them
  • Annotated lists of print, Web, and multimedia resources that power the next steps for in-depth research
  • Profiles of key players and organizations
  • A glossary of key terms
Author Info

Angela Lumpkin, PhD, is professor and chair in the Department of Kinesiology and Sport Management, Texas Tech University, Lubbock, TX. She is author of 23 books, including coauthor of Practical Ethics in Sport Management; coauthor of Sport Ethics: Applications for Fair Play; and Modern Sports Ethics: A Reference Handbook. She has been an American Council on Education Fellow, a Distinguished Visiting Professor at the United States Military Academy at West Point, and the Gene A. Budig Teaching Professor and the Gene A. Budig Writing Professor in the School of Education at the University of Kansas. Lumpkin received The Order of the Long Leaf Pine from Governor James B. Hunt for contributions to the physical fitness and health of North Carolinians. She holds a bachelor of science in engineering degree from the University of Arkansas, a master's degree and doctorate from The Ohio State University, and a master's degree in business administration from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.



"This research handbook is a timely addition to the Contemporary World Issues series. It will provide yeoman's service to high school, undergraduate, and other researchers."Booklist

"[A]n extensive presentation of historical and present day ethics in a variety of sports settings. . . . Overall, this book provides a thorough investigation of ethics in sports—both past and present. It will serve as an excellent resource for those individuals who are interested in the study of ethics in sports. Summing Up: Recommended. Lower- and upper-division undergraduates; general readers."Choice

"This insightful book supports the premise that coaches, players, administrators, parents, and fans need to teach, role model, and reinforce character development—including positive values. . . . Recommended for public, high school, and college libraries."ARBA

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