Sports, ethics and fairness

Further to recent darts entries, I have been thinking about whether engagement in sport is something that can foster ethical virtues.

It has the rules, and ethics borrows phrases from the world of sports all the time – such as’playing with a straight bat’ (a bit archaic I know), level-playing field, fair play, and others [see for a piece in the Journal of Sports History about Plato’s use of Sporting Analogies in the Lesser Hippias)].

Then I came across this quote from George Orwell:

“Serious sport has nothing to do with fair play. It is bound up with hatred, jealousy, boastfulness, disregard of all rules and sadistic pleasure in witnessing violence. In other words, it is war minus the shooting.”

Oh dear – should we let kids really do PE at school at all?


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