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International Journal of Applied Philosophy

Volume 28, Issue 2, Fall 2014

Gottfried Schweiger
Pages 373-389
DOI: 10.5840/ijap201412834

Social Justice and Professional Sports

In this paper I examine the relation of social justice and professional sports. I discuss two interrelated key ideas of social justice: equality of opportunity, and the just distribution of income and social status according to the principle of desert. I sketch what they both could mean in the context of professional sports and conclude that social justice should be implemented accordingly. This includes measures to equal the chances of becoming a professional athlete, the regulation of their incomes—especially those which are exceptionally high—and that they—again especially those who are superstars—are viewed and treated as equals among equals. Professional athletes might show exceptional talent and effort, but they nonetheless fall under the jurisdiction of social justice.