Game-Day Gangsters: Crime and Deviance in Canadian Football
In the complicated interaction between sport and law, much is revealed about the perception and understanding of consent and tolerable deviance. When a football player steps onto the field, what deviations from the rules of the game are considered acceptable? And what risks has the player already accepted by voluntarily participating in the sport? In the case of Canadian football, acts of on-field violence, hazing, and performance-enhancing drug use that would be considered criminal outside the context of sport are tolerated and even promoted by team and league administrators. The manner in which league review committees and the Canadian legal system understand such actions highlights the challenges faced by those looking to protect players from the dangers of the sport. Although there has been some discussion of legal and institutional reforms dealing with crime and deviance in Canadian sport, little exists in the way of sports law, with most cases falling into the legal categories of criminal, administrative, or civil law. In Game-Day Gangsters, Fogel argues for a review of the systems by which Canadian football is governed and analyzes the reforms proposed by football leagues and by players. Juxtaposing material from interviews with football players and administrators and from media files and legal cases, he explores the discrepancies between the playersÕ own experiences and the institutional handling of disciplinary matters in junior, university, and professional football leagues across the country.