British Spectators’ Perceptions of the Values and Norms in Selected Professional Sports: a Comparative Ethical Survey
Taylor & Francis (Routledge)
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In recent years the British media have made much of the apparent decline of standards in British sports. In order to interrogate the veracity of media assumptions regarding the standards of conduct in major British sports, a selection of British sports spectators were interviewed in order to examine: (i) their perceptions of the values and norms of sport; (ii) whether they thought that sporting conduct as currently demonstrated by UK sportsmen and women was positive and related to some ideal notion of the 'ethos of sport' and the 'spirit of the game'; (iii) whether they thought that there had been an improvement, a decline or no change in the ethical standards of conduct in those sports; and (iv) views on the impact of new technologies on the values and norms of sport. At least 200 questionnaires were collected from spectators at each of the following major sporting events: (a) the English Nationwide Football League Divisions 2 and 3 play‐offs, Cardiff, May 2001; (b) the All England Tennis Championships, Wimbledon, July 2001; (c) the England vs Australia Cricket Test match, Edgbaston Birmingham, July 2001; and (iv) the British Open Golf Championships, Royal Lytham and St Annes, Lancashire, July 2001. Results showed that there were statistically significant differences in what sports spectators thought about British professional sportspersons acting in a fair and sporting way and also that standards of conduct had generally declined over the last 10 years. A general pattern of distribution emerged where the team sports (cricket and football) were less favourably perceived than the individual sports (golf and tennis).
McNamee, M., Jones, C., Cooper, S.M., Bingham, J., North, J. and Finley, V. (2007) 'British spectators’ perceptions of the values and norms in selected professional sports: A comparative ethical survey', Leisure studies, 26(1), pp.23-45.
This article was published in Leisure Studies on 18 February 2007 (online), available at http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/02614360500504669
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