The Sports Industry's War on Athletes
by Peter Finley, Laura Finley
July 2006, 224pp, 6 1/8 x 9 1/4
1 volume, Praeger

Hardcover: 978-0-275-99172-2
$65, £50, 57€, A90
eBook Available: 978-0-313-08288-7
Please contact your preferred eBook vendor for pricing.

Explores the damage our obsession with profit-driven sports does to individuals, personal relationships, and our society at large.

In America, sports are a popular passion, and an astoundingly lucrative business as well. Americans pay out millions of dollars annually for channels and stadiums to bring them closer to their favorite players, and every year, young athletes go to greater lengths to reach those exalted fields of play themselves. Unfortunately, in the quest to offer an ever more compelling product, the sports industry is blind to the manner in which that product is created. Doping, playing through injury, and eating disorders are widespread problems in both professional and college athletics, and speak volumes about the lengths to which people will go in order to make themselves successful. Dirty play, hazing, and cheating are common even at the lowest levels. Most troubling of all, however, are the societal problems created by the sports industry, which include racism, sexism, classism, and homophobia.

Peter and Laura Finley’s comprehensive work confronts the many problems facing athletics today. Using numerous examples (both historical and current), they begin with the issue as they exist at the highest levels and as they are represented in the media. They then go on to look at how the values and models expressed by professionals are adopted and utilized by coaches, parents, and eventually by amateur athletes of all ages. Finally, the Finleys provide recommendations for improving the sports environment in America, suggesting ways we can work to counteract some of these many harmful influences to ensure that sports realize their potential as a positive and rewarding activity.


"[T]hose who are interested in list-making will appreciate the useful factual litany of sins in the wicked world of sports."—Choice, February 1, 2007

"The sports industry in the United States is among the 11 largest industries in the United States. This gross commercialization of sports has led to a host of ills from the professional level down through high school athletics. Although these ills are typically blamed on athletes, the authors argue that the market-system of sports itself is to blame. They discuss such on-field issues as doping, playing while hurt, cheating and game violence. They then present chapters on recruiting scandals and academic fraud; hazing scandals; encouragement of racism, sexism, and classism; and the corrupt world of stadium financing."—Reference & Research Book News, November 1, 2006
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