Posted inPsychology

Madness and fairness in March (and beyond)

Reading Time: 3 minutes Humans loath unfairness. It’s baked into our DNA. That’s just one of the many reasons the NCAA basketball tournaments every March don the moniker “Madness.” The famous psychology experiment The Ultimatum Game captures this perfectly. Player A is given a sum of money and must propose a way to divide it between themselves and Player […]

Posted inEthics and Morality

Soccer unveils the white card, and I’m conflicted

Reading Time: 4 minutes I wanted to like it. I really did. But I just can’t.

Soccer’s first white card was given during a game in Portugal’s professional league this past weekend. To compliment—or, maybe, counterbalance—soccer’s punitive yellow and red cards, the white card aims to reward good behavior and “improve ethical values in sport.”

I’ve taught Ethics for 23 years, and I use sport to illustrate key concepts. And for me, the white card draws a red card.

Posted inThe Secular

Is secular life bereft when tragedy strikes? Not for a minute

Reading Time: 4 minutes In the week since NFL player Damar Hamlin’s near death on the field, prayer has had a big moment: players bowing their heads and circling to pray before games, ubiquitous signs and social media posts bearing messages like “Pray for Damar,” TV commentators speaking of prayer—and in at least one case actually praying during coverage—with […]

Posted inCulture

The reality of fantasy sports

Reading Time: 6 minutes Since ESPN offered the first internet-based fantasy baseball in 1995, Fantasy Sports—and, especially, Fantasy Football—have become ubiquitous. Advertisements encourage viewers to log on now to win hundreds of thousands of dollars playing. In 2016, it was estimated almost 60 million people played fantasy sports in the U.S. and Canada, with the industry bringing in $7.2 billion. As […]

Posted inBooks

Should I stay or should I go? The excruciating dilemma facing supporters of a beloved soccer team

Reading Time: 5 minutes When is it OK to continue your ardent engagement with a fandom you love despite emerging controversy around the creator of the particular cultural production? When does the misconduct of an author or director, or a sports team’s management, reach the point where you have to say goodbye? Such is the dilemma for those of […]

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