The NYU Sports and Society program, headed by University Professor Arthur R. Miller, issued a white paper today examining the phenomenon of bullying and other intolerant behavior in sports, and proposing a comprehensive range of initiatives focused on youth athletics to combat them.
While these issues have been central to the Sports and Society program, work on this latest project began after NYU Law alumnus Stephen M. Ross (LLM ’66) approached NYU Law Dean Trevor Morrison in December 2013 to discuss ways to increase civility and respect in sports, and thus, in society at large.
Ross is a majority owner of the Miami Dolphins. Last fall, the organization was thrust into the public spotlight of issues regarding harassment and hazing in sports. Working with Morrison, Miller, one of the nation’s most distinguished law professors and founder of the Sports and Society program at the NYU School of Continuing and Professional Studies (NYU-SCPS), assembled a team of NYU Law faculty, alumni, and students, as well as faculty affiliated with NYU-SCPS, to work on a range of linked projects examining the issue.
“We must work together towards a culture of civility and mutual respect for one another,” said Ross. “Something needs to be done so that every man and woman, young and old, can participate in sports on all levels and find a positive and meaningful experience. We will use this opportunity to make a positive change.”
The white paper, authored by Miller and other faculty who are members of the Sports and Society program at NYU-SCPS, states: “Bullying in sports is only one aspect of a larger phenomenon of harmful behavior in many spheres of society: schools, workplaces, social, and community settings. Although many government, educational, and other social institutions have done some work to curb bullying behavior in their ranks, these efforts often are not coordinated or comprehensive enough to change the existing culture.” The paper then proposes a youth education initiative to combat racism and other forms of intolerance in sports, and to promote a culture of respect. Among the measures proposed are:
- The development of a curriculum to educate young athletes, coaches, and parents on respectful conduct.
- A uniform code of respectful conduct for adoption at all levels of youth athletics.
- A pledge in which sports participants on all levels commit, on a recurring basis, to treat others with respect, identify bullying, and speak out against it.
“Fostering a culture of respect in youth sports is a primary focus of the Sports and Society program,” Miller said. “We embrace the opportunity to work with Steve Ross to further that goal and look forward to continued productive collaboration.”
Morrison said: “I am grateful to Steve for his leadership in promoting a culture of dignity and respect in sports at all levels. His commitment to these values resonates with a great deal of work we do here at the Law School both in and out of the classroom.”
A copy of the white paper, “Changing the Culture of Youth Sports: An Initiative to Combat Abusive Behavior and all Forms of Intolerance in Order to Promote Civility and Respect Among Athletes,” is available for download or on the NYU Sports and Society program website: scps.nyu.edu/sportsandsociety.
A media conference call will be held on Tuesday, February 25, from 2:30 - 3:00 p.m. Stephen M. Ross, the majority owner of the Miami Dolphins; Trevor Morrison, dean of the NYU School of Law; and Arthur R. Miller, founder of the NYU Sports and Society program, will be available for questions.
To participate in the conference call or to submit questions in advance, please e-mail
Jason Jenkins, vice president of communications for the Miami Dolphins, at email@example.com.
For all media inquiries, please contact the public relations officers listed below.
NYU School of Continuing and Professional Studies/NYU Sports and Society
NYU School of Law Public Affairs
About NYU Sports and Society
Sports are often referred to as fun and games. And they are, but they are far more than that. Sports are a reflection of the most fundamental norms and values that shape human society. Sports represent escape from the world, but they also are a huge presence within the world, accounting for hundreds of billions of dollars in revenue and bringing together more nations and groups than any political entity is capable of doing. Sports are a test bed for science and medicine, as well as for teaching, communicating, and mentoring.
Sports are big business. Sports fuel the media. Sports are critical to advertising and merchandising many of the world’s most lucrative products. Sports shape the beliefs and values of our children. Sports have and can lead the way in societal reform and ethical progress. Sports create our heroes, villains, and pariahs.
Despite all this, there is no single academic program that is devoted to examining the meaning, the morality, and the impact of sports on a global scale in an intensive and interdisciplinary fashion. The NYU Sports and Society program seeks to become the go-to academic program in the world for discussions of all aspects of sports and society. For more information, visit: scps.nyu.edu/sportsandsociety.
About the NYU School of Continuing and Professional Studies
Established in 1934, NYU-SCPS is one of NYU’s several degree-granting schools and colleges, each with a unique academic profile. The reputation of NYU-SCPS arises from its place as the NYU home for study and applied research related to key knowledge-based industries where the New York region leads globally. This is manifest in the School’s diverse graduate, undergraduate, and noncredit programs in fields such as Real Estate, Real Estate Development, and Construction Management; Hospitality, Tourism, and Sports Management; Global Affairs; Fundraising and Grantmaking; Advanced Digital Applications and Graphic Communications Management and Technology; Publishing; Professional Writing; Human Resource Management and Development, Marketing, Public Relations and Corporate Communication, Management and Systems, Project Management, and Accounting, Finance, and Taxation; Liberal and Allied Arts; and Foreign Languages, Translation, and Interpreting.
More than 100 distinguished full-time faculty members collaborate with an exceptional cadre of practitioner/adjunct faculty and lecturers to create vibrant professional and academic networks that annually attract nearly 5,000 degree-seeking students from around the globe. In addition, the School fulfills the recurrent continuing higher education needs of local and professional communities, as evidenced by close to 48,000 annual noncredit enrollments in individual courses, specialized certificate programs, workshops, and seminars. The School’s community is enriched by more than 27,000 degree-holding alumni worldwide, many of whom serve as mentors, guest speakers, and advisory board members. For more information, visit: scps.nyu.edu.
About NYU Law
Founded in 1835, New York University School of Law has a long record of academic excellence, national scholarly influence, and innovative achievements. It is a pacesetter in legal education, pioneering new approaches to practical-skills training and the early recognition that law has an increasingly global dimension to which all students should be exposed in the classroom. Its innovative lawyering, clinical, and advocacy programs; interdisciplinary colloquia; public interest initiatives; and law-and-business transaction courses have all served as models for others. For more information, visit: law.nyu.edu.