The psycho-biological bases of sports supporters' behaviour: The virtuous supporter

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Given current studies in moral psychology and following recent cases of wrong behaviour occurred in elite sporting events - e.g. the racist chants scandals in the English Premier League or the events following Mourinho's poke in the eye scandal - I shall analyse the extent to which supporters' brain make-up is determining them to behave in an 'unfair way'. Yet this paper is not just a work on descriptive ethics, but a normative ethics work. Therefore, once I have developed the 'psycho-biological account of sports supporters', I shall explore whether or not a more virtuous account of sports supporting can be drawn. In order to fulfil this normative task I shall appeal to the concept of 'fair play'. The common view of fair play defines it as 'the act of abiding by the rules'. However, my account of fair play is more complex and it is based on the moral principle of respecting others. This is the reason why fair play is not just something related to athletes but to supporters as well. To conclude, I shall sketch the boundaries of fair-play-based supporting behaviour in order to propose some policies or strategies that can help us to promote a 'healthy' and virtuous behaviour among fans.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)423-438
Number of pages16
JournalSport, Ethics and Philosophy
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2012

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation
  • Philosophy


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