Decency and fair play

February 13, 2007

How do we have any chance of convincing anyone, anywhere, anytime of any age of the ideals of fair play, honesty and decency and that these things should be striven for and enforced if we don’t see them in the most public display of ethics and principles society has to offer, sport.

Children grow up watching, learning and playing sports, often idolising players. National identities are forged by sport and the behaviour of players on the field and yet many sports seem to have little or no interest in weeding out cheats and punishing them.

If, on television, we see a sense of fair play in a national and international sport like football, tennis, rugby or cricket it will affect the way we behave. There is no doubt about it. We use our heroes and their behaviour to, at least in part, define how we should behave.

Children idolising a cheat that smirks with glee after an incident that has won him a game are not going to have a problem doing the self same thing. The crossover from sport to the rest of life is a small step and for many they are synonymous. If it is affecting children it will affect adults, too. In my case the reaction is immediate revulsion and a compulsion to stop watching the game, others may be influenced differently.

How we react says a lot about our character. My reaction has built up it’s revulsion over the past few years to the point where I have to do something about it. I have set up a website against cheats in sports called

Whether you are a fan of football, cricket, tennis or any other sport or if your children, wife or husband is then please go to this site and sign the petition against unpunished cheating. Initially I am asking people to target the English Premiership by sending the English FA an email. If you do not have time to write an email then send the one below.

Dear sir/madam,

I am a fan of football and believe in the principles of fair play. I do not like to see cheating. It spoils my enjoyment of the game. I would like to see video evidence of every game in the Premiership scrutinised afterwards for obvious cheating.

For example: I would like to see players banned for 5 matches for cheating leading to an incorrect penalty goal. I would like to see 2 points deducted from the team that benefits.

I would like to go back to the days when a player would get up and tell a referee “No, actually, there was no contact, that is not a penalty.” I am a fan of various sports and I want wins and losses based on merit. The club must suffer punishment as well as the player if it allows cheating.

I want my football game back to the best traditions of fair play.

I write a lot of theoretical or philosophical pieces about society, human instincts and the way people behave. In this there is an actual, practical way to subtly change the way people behave all over the world. The English Premiership is the most watched league of any international sport. An example set there is to place in front of people a mindset of fair play and decent behaviour, one sorely lacking in our capitalistic win-at-all-costs societies.

So I appeal to you, come and have a look at the site. If you approve of it’s aim then: if you have a weblog, write about the site and link to it, if you have time email your friends about it, even if only to sign the petition.



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