Game-Day Gangsters

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 players’ own experiences and the institutional handling of disciplinary matters in junior, university, and professional football leagues across the country.

Table of Contents

Table of Contents
Cover 1
Contents 6
Acknowledgements 8
Abbreviations 10
Legal Cases Cited 12
1 Discerning Consent in Canadian Sport 16
Defining and Discerning Consent 18
Violence 21
Hazing 31
Performance-enhancing Drugs 38
Summary 43
2 A Brotherhood of Violence and Mutilation 46
Perceptions and Experiences of Violence 46
Drawing the Line of Consent 59
Disciplinary Perspectives on Violence 61
Summary 70
3 Hazing in the Aftermath of McGill’s Mr. Broomstick 72
Perceptions and Experiences of Hazing 73
Drawing the Line of Consent 83
Disciplinary Perspectives on Hazing 86
Summary 91
4 Athletes in the Era of Performance-Enhancing Drugs 94
Perceptions and Experiences of Performance-enhancing Drug Use 95
Drawing the Line of Consent 102
Disciplinary Perspectives on Performance-enhancing Drug Use 104
Summary 111
5 Arenas of Toleration in Canadian Football 112
Conceptualizing Tolerable Deviance 113
Tolerable Deviance in Canadian Football 117
Arenas of Toleration in Canadian Football 119
Explaining Tolerable Deviance in Canadian Football 125
Precarious Labour in Canadian Football 127
Summary 133
6 Constrained Consent on the Gridiron 136
Conceptualizing Constraint 137
Constraints on Violence 140
Hazing Constraints 145
Performance-enhancing Drug Use Constraints 149
Summary 152
7 Implications of this Research 154
List of Interviews 161
References 164
Index 172
A 172
B 172
C 172
H 173
G 173
F 173
D 173
I 174
J 174
L 174
M 174
N 174
S 175
R 175
P 175
O 175
T 176
U 176
V 176
W 176
Y 176