A Column on Ethical Issues in Sports by Jordan Parham
Can you clean “dirty” money?
Jermaine Cole once said, “Can’t take it when you die, but you can’t live without it.” What was he referring to in this quote? In short, money. Love it or hate it, his quote speaks the truth about the world we live in. For some, money comes easy. Whether they worked through college to land a job shortly after, worked their way up the corporate ladder, or created their own business, their position provides livable funds. For others, life is not as plain laid out; there may be several hoops a week that people must jump through just to put food on the table. Everyone wants to win the lottery in hopes that they can eradicate all financial troubles, and some people have obtained it without buying a ticket.
Athletes all over the globe collectively share one common dream: to be the next biggest icon for that sport. Unfortunately for some, that dream never comes; however, for others, that dream becomes a reality. Not only do those individuals become stars almost overnight, but they are welcomed into the industry with enough money to kick any financial insecurities to the curb. Many athletes have been waiting their whole lives for this, but morally, is this the correct decision to make?
For Harold Varner III, it was the correct decision. His decision to join LIV Golf was simply for the monetary value he was offered. Although LIV Golf (a company the infamous Saudi Arabian government has a 93% stake in) is catching some backlash due to its current ownership, players—such as Varner III— continue to sign record-breaking deals with them for no other reason than the money. Although the Saudi Arabian government has committed and attempted to cover some shady acts, several athletes continue to sign deals with them. Would you do the same?
Personally, I would do the same thing. My dream is to one day help others who cannot help but wonder what is in store for their lives. I think every day and every night about how many people are out sleeping in the cold with nothing but a jacket at times. With a multimillion-dollar contract, I could do more than buy someone a meal at McDonald's or help that struggling single mother pay her bills. I may not be able to save the entire world, but I could try, and if I try hard enough, maybe I could inspire others to do the same thing. Although this form of money may be considered “dirty,” I still can make use of it somehow.
Cunningham, K. (2023, April 6). “they’re full of s---”: Harold Varner blasts fellow Liv Pros over cited reasons for leaving PGA Tour. Golf. https://golf.com/news/harold-varner-slams-liv-pros-over- reasons-joining/
R/arabs on Reddit: Why does Saudi Arabia get so much hate? (n.d.).
https://www.red d it.com/r/arabs/comments/cu13tz/why_d oes_saud i_arabia_get_so_much_hate/ 
J. Cole – ATM. Genius. (n.d.). https://genius.com/J-cole-atm-lyrics
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