Is There a place for Ethics in Sports?

The following post is brought to you by Brandi Boatner, vice president of advocacy:

The recent news stories involving ethical issues in the National Basketball Association, National Football League, Major League Baseball and professional cycling are threatening the reputation and integrity of their respective sports. The recent scandals have been ethical and moral nightmares for the commissioners and presidents of these organizations. The basic ethical values of trust, respect, fairness, responsibility and caring have all been compromised among members of these societies.

Although some incidents were isolated acts, they will have a lasting effect on the reputation and integrity of the sport that took a lifetime to achieve. The scandals can also affect young athletes who may have a promising future in the world of professional sports.

Public relations professionals are facing the challenge of image control and how to salvage credibility within these institutions. Fans may begin to question and wonder if referees are hand picking certain teams to play in championship games or if athletes lead unethical, immoral personal lives.

As a public relations practitioner, reputation management is key. How should we as future public relations practitioners handle ethical and moral disasters?

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