- Sport and Criminal Behavior
Sport and Criminal Behavior is a compilation of research articles that dissect the presence and impact of criminal activity within sports. Jason Lee and Jeffrey Lee’s collection delves into a variety of social, administrative, and athletic issues within sport by covering such topics as “drug issues, violence, gambling, ticket scalping, hazing, fraud in nonprofit sport, homeland security issues and disaster preparedness in sport, intellectual property . . . and beyond” (p. vii). As editors they have segmented the text into five groupings: drug issues, violence, gambling-fraud-misappropriations, athletes and criminal actions, and broadening perspectives. Lee and Lee bring to light the reality of illegal activity permeating sports through their collected articles of deviant performances by athletes, organizations, and administrators.
Jason Lee and Jeffrey Lee anticipate potential shortfalls in understanding the United States criminal justice system readers may have in the introduction, where basic terminologies and concepts of the United States criminal justice system are established. Then, they juxtapose the basis for the justice system with sport management, clearly fusing the two subjects together. They maintain, “Being that sport mirrors society, managers of sport are able to appreciate its business aspects, such as general management issues and marketing considerations, as well as the social and cultural implication of sport” (pp. 12–13). Based upon the principle of sport as a means of social assimilation, the editors present this collection of material as a representation of skewed associations sport promotes with its connections to criminal acts.
Apparent awareness of recent social outcries and rebukes of illegal behavior in sports is evident in the selection of articles from the very beginning, where the reader is taken directly into the topic of drugs. Lee and Lee open this category with John Miller’s article, “Drug Issues in Sport: Steroid Performance-Enhancement,” where Miller questions sports’ equity. In Miller’s piece readers are taken through an array of topics and exposed to a variety of sports and governing bodies. Miller’s work takes apart topics that vary in perspectives but culminates with the influence criminal activity holds over athletes motivated to gain a competitive advantage. Next, the editors present the history of alcohol and sport. Andy Gillentine’s article, “Alcohol Related Crimes in Sport,” historicizes the connection of alcohol as part of the socialization process of sport. Gillentine moves from prohibition and sports’ dependency on alcohol sponsors for revenues, to alcohol-enhanced riots by fans and the tragedy of Barrett Robinson. In both Miller’s and Gillentine’s articles contemporary drug associations with sports are revealed as a detriment to sport and society.
Moving out of drug-related issues, Lee and Lee introduce violence in sports. Through a systematic approach, they begin with John W. Clark and Phil Bridgmon’s article that investigates the psychological dynamics that cause participants and spectators to embrace violent acts. Clark and Bridgmon’s work precedes that of Barbara Osborne; Osborne presents a collection of incidents where violence within the context of sporting competition [End Page 330] crossed over to the court system. Ordering these two articles in this sequence highlights the editors’ influence on setting readers up with theoretical framework and application. In the next two sections Lee and Lee provide documentation of the connection between sport, gambling, fraud, and athlete’s criminal actions. Stephen L. Mallory highlights the significance and influence gambling has when he concludes in his article that reports “estimate illegal sports wagering to range from $80 to $380 billion annually, it is a problem that needs to be addressed by both the sports industry and law enforcement” (p. 128). Moving into the topics of athletes and their criminal actions, the editors utilize Brian Crow’s comments on hazing in modern athletics and Kadence A. Otto’s broad list of criminal acts by professional and collegiate players. In closing, the editors challenge the reader to expand their purview and consider disaster preparations, ticket scalping, and professional wrestling’s struggle with policing an apparent drug problem.
Sport and Criminal Behavior unites issues concerned with criminal activity...