Elite-level athletes are placed upon heightened pedestals in societies world-wide. At the same time, there is a dark side to these glorified competitors that remains hidden from those outside of exclusive athletic circles. Dr. Nick Pappas’ athletic background in collegiate and professional sports has provided insider access, enabling him to uncover an array of disturbing sexually deviant and aggressive behaviors, which have silently thrived for decades in many athlete cultures. These findings, expressed through the athletes’ own words, are the result of more than 10 years of cutting-edge research involving in-depth interviews with 142 collegiate, minor, and major league athletes from five prominent U.S. sports. Written in an engaging style, The Dark Side of Sports is a must read with messages not only for athletes, coaches, managers, and administrators, but also for parents, women, students, and sports enthusiasts. While these important discoveries are certain to shock, raise awareness, and provide a wake-up call for those in and outside of the sports world, they also promote a sense of urgency for taking action to prevent and address these harmful behaviors.
The Dark Side of Sports has strong appeal for diverse audiences because it highlights the need for risk management in every male athletic culture. This includes individuals with direct involvement in sports such as athletes, coaches, managers, administrators, and support staff, who see the importance of addressing and deterring potentially harmful and dangerous behavior that can ruin an athletic program’s reputation in an instant. At the same time, this book serves as an invaluable resource for parents, women, and fans by raising awareness to the significant issues surrounding a darker, hidden side of sports. The fact that certain negative practices were discovered at the high school level means that millions of middle and high school coaches and athletes, in addition to those at elite levels, need this information to keep deviant practices from gaining a foothold and becoming normalized within youth-oriented sports cultures. Finally, The Dark Side of Sports will be a welcomed addition to courses such as sociology of sport, sports psychology, women’s studies, and an array of sociology classes including deviant behavior.
About the Author
Nick Pappas, Ph.D., LPC., NCC, brings an impressive background to his writing with more than 25 years of diverse work experiences that highlight a rare combination of practical, athletic, and academic excellence. Dr. Pappas completed his doctorate degree in Human Development and Family Science with a minor in Sociology of Sport from The Ohio State University. His doctoral dissertation, “On the Ice and Off the Rink: A Qualitative Study of Hockey Players’ Aggression,” highlighted out-of-sport athlete aggression against males and females through interviews with 23 collegiate and/or minor professional athletes. This work served as the foundation for The Dark Side of Sports because the information Dr. Pappas discovered and withheld from his dissertation included sexually deviant, but not necessarily aggressive behavior.