A fair shake for the fair-weather fan
After initially pitting partisans against purists, the literature on the ethics of fandom has coalesced around a pluralist position: purists and partisans each have their own merits, and there is no ideal form of fandom. In this literature, however, the fair-weather fan continues to be viewed with dismissal and (sometimes) derision. While some fair-weather fans may earn this contempt, many fair-weather fans, we argue, are not only acceptable, they have important advantages over partisans and purists, and as such are in a better position to navigate some of the moral complexities inherent in modern sports. We develop this argument first by clarifying the nature of the fair-weather fan. We then examine challenges that fans face in many modern sports, first owing to their economic nature and, second, due to the morally tainted status of many of them. We argue that the fair-weather fan meets these challenges in ways that the partisan and purist cannot replicate.
Fruh, K; Hedahl, M; Maring, L; Olson, N
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