Ethics Quiz: Honoring The Dead and Deadly Team Mate

Taveras

When they take the field in Spring Training and for the rest of the 2015 baseball season, the St. Louis Cardinals will be wearing a memorial patch reading “OT” in honor of outfielder Oscar Taveras, the 22-year-old budding star outfielder who died in a car crash in his native Dominican Republic last October. Such mourning patches have become common since 1972, when the Pittsburgh Pirates moved beyond the traditional black armband to a personalized patch following the tragic death of the team’s Hall of Fame outfielder Roberto Clemente in a plane crash, as he was flying humanitarian aid to Nicaragua.

Taveras, however, unlike Clemente, died in an act of reckless stupidity that took not only his own life but that of his 18-year-old girlfriend, Edilia Arvelo, as well. Toxicology tests showed that his blood alcohol level was five times the legal limit before the crash. situation is more complex because toxicology tests showed that his blood alcohol level at the time of his death was five times the legal limit. Moreover, Taveras’, also was killed in the crash. If Taveras had lived and Arvelo alone had died, he would have been prosecuted for manslaughter.

And thus your first Ethics Alarms Baseball Ethics Quiz of 2015 is this:

Is it ethical for the Cardinals to publicly honor Taveras with a uniform patch?

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Ethics Hero: DUI Manslaughter Killer Matt Cordle

The video is self-explanatory, I think.

I’m certain some will say that it is self-serving, that he made the video to try to minimize his punishment. This could be, and so what? The YouTube confession is still the best, most honest, most ethical, most courageous option that he had, once he had made the tragic and irresponsible decision to drive while intoxicated. Many, indeed most, and arguably all ethical acts have an element of self-serving in them. If they are right, they are right.

Imagine how much better society and the justice system would be if those who committed crimes fulfilled their societal duty to admit them, apologize, and accept their just punishment. Cordle, ironically, is not merely an Ethics Hero, but a role model.

Source:  DNA