The Ethics of Flopping

Upon searching through past blogs, I eventually came across one entitled “Strategy or Ethics”. In it, Kaitlyn discusses ethics and their place in sports, specifically soccer. She struggles with the question of tripping someone on a breakaway before they are in the box. On one hand, it is a proven and widely used strategy. The result is a difficult free kick, as opposed to alternatives, which range from a 1 on 0 with the goalie to ejection from the game via red card. With soccer and ethics in mind, I immediately thought of an ethical issue with tight ties to the sport- flopping. However, due to my lack of knowledge in soccer history, and a thrilling overtime Bulls’ win Tuesday night, I decided to approach flopping from the sport it seems to have affected to a similar extent, basketball.

Forty years ago, before the term “flopping” had been used in the NBA, Dave Cowens was so enraged after an opponent drew a charge on him that he chased the player down the court and tackled him! Cowens viewed the flop as dishonorable, unethical. The public shared a similar mentality. Today, watching five minutes of an NBA game without seeing an embellished fall is less likely than the Patriots getting through a season without a cheating scandal. It has become a part of the game. So, I ask you, is flopping unethical?

LeBron James is the best basketball player alive today. He will likely be remembered as one of the greatest of all time. He is paid incredible amounts of money to entertain the public through his sport. LeBron, the entertainer, also has a tendency to dramatize his performance. Not only is he following an important rule of the industry (no one wants to watch a lazy performance), he is being a competitor. Dan Gilbert, owner of the Cavaliers, brought LeBron to his team because he thought it gave them the best chance of winning. It is here that LeBron must make a choice. Does he unethically “destroy the sanctity of the game” by flopping, or unethically accept Dan Gilbert’s contract offer knowing he won’t employ one of the most effective point-accruing strategies in the league?

I dislike flopping and wish it wasn’t a part of the game, basketball or soccer, but my dislike does not stem from an ethical dilemma. In my opinion, flopping slows down the game and isn’t as impressive as solid defense. I do not find it, however, to be unethical. Over the course of time, societal views shift and ethical boundaries shift with them. Forty years ago, I may have considered it unethical to flop. Today, I have begrudgingly accepted it as part of the game. Because it has become so normal, it is my opinion that players no longer view flopping as a decision of ethics, but instead as just another regulation of the game. Referees are trained to watch for and penalize flops just as they are for any other rule breaking. Nobody accuses a player who receives a reach-in foul of playing unethically, but what is different about a flopping foul when both are clearly defined in the rules and regulations of the sport?


Here is a LeBron James flopping compilation. What do you think? Is this unethical? Just a part of the game? An Oscar worthy performance?

A Liberal Arts Education?

After looking through the wide range of blogs from past semesters, I came across a blog post titled, “Class Options at Bucknell” from the second semester of 2013. The post was an expression of what seemed to be a widespread feeling of frustration among upper class management majors at that time that could not take the classes offered in the new curriculum that interested them. The author explained that while he or she appreciated a liberal arts education, he or she would rather take a marketing class that he or she was interested in over a “random religion class that [he/she] was not very interested in.” While my situation is completely different than the author’s, I found the post relatable and thought I would comment on my view on class options at Bucknell.

I understand that there are challenges in having an accredited business school as part of a liberal arts university. There are many requirements that must be satisfied in order to earn a BSBA. I accept that I hold the responsibility for choosing my major. This is a choice that I do not regret. However, over my four years at Bucknell, some of my favorite classes have been the liberal arts classes that I have taken, including my freshman seminar, Blue Highways: Life as a Journey, and Religion and American Politics. Both these classes influenced my thinking and my values incredibly.

After I took those classes I wanted to take more classes in those areas. Unfortunately, I had already filled up the requirements for those areas and did not have enough electives left. While I continued to follow these interests in work and reading outside of class, it was frustrating to not be able to take classes I was interested in taking. As a finance major, I would argue that taking two separate math courses was somewhat redundant to the math I was doing in some management courses. I would have much preferred to take a creative writing class, a film class or an additional language course. I truly appreciate the liberal arts education that Bucknell stands for; I only wish that I were able to take full advantage of it.


The fifth blog prompt titled “Let’s Talk About Politics, Baby” caught my attention while skimming through last semesters blogs. It is almost taboo to talk about politics among our young generation. Millennials, especially at Bucknell, are frighetened to step on each other’s toes or engage in confrontational conversation. I believe respectful confrontation is healthy. It forces individuals to engage in perspective-chaning and have an open mind about what the other person is saying. It brings new opinions to fruition and allows for a wide variety of discourse (where avenues of thought would not have been mentioned otherwise).

The blog asked readers to take a political quiz: The results showed what political party you align most with based on your responses. Some of the questions were very black and white and difficult to answer because I did not feel either described my beliefs. One particular question asked “Which comes closest to your views?” with the answers 1) Business corporations make too much profit 2) Most corporations make a fair and responsible profit. I was torn on how to answer this question because it categorizes thousands of business into two finite, exclusive categories. In my opinion, some businesses do not distribute their massive profits honestly and fairly among their employees, supply chain vendors, or towards the environmental damages the corporation has created. This only represents a portion of businesses today. Other businesses, have clear missions about being triple-bottom-line and honest throughout their corporation. Is it wrong to make massive amounts of profit if a corporation cares for its stakeholders?

Another question that made me pause asked the reader to choose between 1) Government is almost always wasteful and inefficient or 2) Government often does a better job than people give it credit. In this particular moment in our U.S. shared history with the congress and the executive branch split, I am inclined to answer our government is wasteful and inefficient. In the news, we often hear of the dynamics of our political system and the wasted energy, time and money spent on such a drastically bi-partisan system. When I think of other programs and changes our government has made throughout history, such as the New Deal and the creation of the SEC, I am again torn on how to best answer this.

The blog asks readers to consider political views and managerial decisions. Do the two relate? Are political views influential on manager’s decision-making? I would argue absolutely yes. If a manager identifies as a liberal and has strong feelings about the environment, he/she may be more inclined to measure their corporations carbon-footprint and lessen their environmental impacts. If you are a manager have different political views than a stakeholder, what is the best course of action when discussing decision-making? Discussion-based, rational conversation. Businesses are not political entities in themselves, but they is political influence surrounding business. We must be aware of this influence, be open to discussion and change, and be ready for positive-conversational confrontation.

Past Blogs: Mitchell Report

Looking through old blog posts, I had an opportunity to read some interesting pieces, learn more about the stakeholder organization is all about, and begin to familiarize myself with WordPress’ layout and functionality. The blog post that I enjoyed reading the most was posted by apv003 about the Mitchell Report: a scathing review issued by the United States of Major League Baseball’s policies of policing illegal performance enhancing drug use in its own sport.

This post was very interesting to me on its own, but especially so within the context of this course. Business ethics is a subject that I have little formal education in. I think that a large part of my personal ethical code has been formed by my relationship with sports. The only part of sports that is black and white is that one team wins, and one team loses, everything else exists in various shades of grey. Tip-toeing the fine line between doing whatever it takes to win and cheating.

The blog post I am commenting on is a concise, thorough overview of the Mitchell report, followed by an ethical analysis that tries to break down the actions into “right and wrong” “whose responsibility was this” and “what does the public have the right to know” which are all very interesting and are applicable to sports, business, and many other fields.

“Everybody’s doing it” have been the fateful last words of many athletes, companies, and individuals about to take the first step down a dangerous road. I learned this lesson via sports, and am looking forward to applying it in this course.

The Real G.O.A.T.

As I browsed through the depths of 302 blogs, I came across a blog labelled “Dinner with Michael Jordan”. The blog talked about Michael Jordan’s success both on the basketball court and in the corporate world. He consistently referred to Michael Jordan as the G.O.A.T(Greatest of All Time). Now, everyone who knows me knows that I am a a crazy soccer fan.  So immediately I thought about the G.O.A.T of soccer, Thierry Henry. The french international is definitely one of the most decorated players in history. From winning the 1998 World Cup, the 2000 Euro Cup, and the English Premier League to being named Footballer of the Year on 3 separate occasions, it is without question Thierry Henry is the absolute G.O.A.T. Despite all these accolades, one of the major reasons I would want to have dinner with him is because of a firsthand experience playing against him.

Continue reading The Real G.O.A.T.

Creativity is Key

One of the blogs that stuck out the most to me was “The Eye of the Tiger – Just Doesn’t Want to Face Reality” by Morgan Krause. Initially, this blog post stuck out to me because of its sports related content. Being from the Philadelphia area, my family considers Rocky to be a cinematic masterpiece, so the title easily grabbed my attention. While the title and topic caught my eye, it was the unique format of the post that maintained my focus. I thought the dialogue structure was really unique and allowed a new level of creativity that I had not seen in blog writing before.

Over my last few summer internships, my roles had included writing blogs to increase audience interaction, in one case for the National Dog Shows presented by the Kennel Club of Philadelphia and in another for America’s Funniest Home Videos. While these experiences required creative approaches to content and the use of videos and other media to create an engaging platform, I had never experienced an approach to blogging that utilized dialogue as the structural form. Morgan’s blog was particularly interesting in the way that the dialogue was introduced. I was interested in her choice to incorporate Tiger Woods as a voice for the greater ethical issue concerning Nike’s laborers and was happy that some time was spent explaining this decision. I thought that Woods’s controversial background made him a more interesting speaker because he is a man who now knows how to navigate criticism from the media and can dance around tough issues such as Nike’s exploitation of employees. I thought that Morgan’s approach to the dialogue allowed for creative development of the ideas that she expounded upon in her conclusion as she evaluated the responsibilities that celebrity’s have when endorsing a product or company.

While looking through more of the blog postings, I realized that while the dialogue utilized in Morgan’s approach was encouraged by a provided prompt, I was happy to see the creativity that the prompt and the blog allowed. I think that using creative strategies like this dialogue exercise helps students make sense of the dense and complicated topics surrounding business, ethics, and philosophy. I’m looking forward to learning more about these complexities and exploring them in creative ways.


While looking through the past blogs, I was struck by this one titled, “My Life: Apple,” likely due to my interest in the company and the unique connection it shares with its customers (myself included). As I read about the writer’s experiences with the brand and its products over the years, I was reminded of my own interactions with such devices. My first iPod, the later iPod Nano, and eventual iPhone and Macbook are bookmarked in my memory forever… but why?

The best explanation I have for this phenomenon is the amount of trust that humans can share with these machines. As opposed to a PC or flip-phone, which I then thought of as a gadget, a Mac is a seemingly intelligent and beautiful ‘sidekick’ that helps accomplish tasks, endlessly entertain, and effortlessly organize our lives. Rather than just a nice camera or large keyboard, Apple products offer unique methods of communication, productivity, and interaction though simplistic design.

This blog specifically interested me due to the many memories I shared with the reader.  For instance, I remember seeing that kid on the bus with the new iPod and later seeing that kid in class with the new Macbook. That said, as we enter a new age where technology will continue to integrate into our daily lives, I think we should be aware of these obsessions and not blindly follow trends.  At the end of the day, we are still humans and the machines we use and create must not take that aspect away from us.