Loss of Integrity in Sports

I’m Chuck Wilson with an ESPN Radio Extra Point.

What does it mean to give your word?

What constitutes a promise?

Where is the line between cheating and “gaining an edge”?

Is there such a thing as a “gentlemen’s agreement”?

As sport mirrors society, the fun and games department is seeing plenty of discussion of integrity issues.

On the college scene we have the lawsuit by some Big East Conference schools against potential defectors to the ACC.

In auto racing this past weekend, we had another example when driver Robby Gordon passed teammate Kevin Harvick under a yellow flag.

NASCAR said it was perfectly legal, but 2nd-place finisher Jeff Gordon said Robby’s move broke a “gentlemen’s agreement” among the drivers not to pass under a caution flag for safety reasons.

Harvick agreed but the reality is that right and wrong seldom seems to enter the equation.

The emphasis is on winning in our society and in our sports almost to the exclusion of everything else.

Cheating is viewed as wrong only if you get caught.

“Winning with integrity” has been replaced by “Winning any way you can”.

And that’s sad.

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