Term Paper: Athletic Ethics and Morality Athletics

Pages: 3 (969 words)  ·  Style: MLA  ·  Bibliography Sources: 5  ·  Topic: Sports  ·  Buy This Paper

Athletic Ethics and Morality

Athletics Ethics and Morality in Classical and Modern Times

Thousands of years separate Classic times from modern ones. One would think that those thousands of years would dramatically change the face of major society and the values that go with it. When looking at the field of sports, however, the status of athletes and all the rewards which accompany that status have remained strikingly similar. When comparing Ancient Greek and Roman athletes to our modern day athletic superstars, one can see how thousands of generations have solidified the athletic mythos rather than evolving it into a completely different institution. The prizes of athletic prominence have varied with the changing technology of society, but the internal moral structure centered around popular athletics and the athletes who enchant us, have remained the same, and so have the pressures of maintaining one's popularity by continuing to outperform all other opponents.

Ancient Greek and Roman societies obsessed over professional athletes, just as modern society does today. To be able to play a sport professionally meant that you were part of an elite group who had mastered an art. Great honor and fame came with athletic success, "In Greece the most illustrious of both sexes thought it honorable to exercise themselves in exhibitions of the theatre, and even to appear in athletic games," (Murphy v). In Aelianus Tacticus' Varia Historia, the Ancient Roman Philosopher told moral tales of the lives of athletes. He made clear society's view that these gods among men must have lived an honorable yet venerated life. Tacticus was also a very important military writer, therefore thought athletes an important part of a society's culture because they were also in the physical form warriors.

In our modern society, this fame continues to follow present athletes. Although some of the honor involved has been lost in translation, the athletes of today still serve as examples of the perfect human form. Today, they are they faces of countless merchandising campaigns which aim to use their popularity and athletic achievements to sell a variety of products, from athletic gear to sports drinks and video games. Their expertise of their sport is now used to promise a boost in performance in modern day amateurs and hopefuls. This in turn, only strengthens their popularity, making them household names and familiar to even those individuals who do not follow the sport they play. The athlete has continued to be a celebrity.

These celebrities have been lavished with gifts and great fortunes for their services, from Classical times to modern day paychecks.

Compensation has always played a large part in the image of the professional athlete, "According to the Roman author Plutarch, an Olympic victor who was a citizen of Athens could expect to receive in the year 600 B.C. A cash award of 500 drachmai, a literal fortune," ("The Real Story of the Olympic Games"). In Ancient times,… [END OF PREVIEW]

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APA Format

Athletic Ethics and Morality Athletics.  (2007, September 22).  Retrieved May 21, 2019, from https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/athletic-ethics-morality-athletics/4263523

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"Athletic Ethics and Morality Athletics."  22 September 2007.  Web.  21 May 2019. <https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/athletic-ethics-morality-athletics/4263523>.

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"Athletic Ethics and Morality Athletics."  Essaytown.com.  September 22, 2007.  Accessed May 21, 2019.
https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/athletic-ethics-morality-athletics/4263523.