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Bad Boys in the NBA: What a difference an apology makes December 4, 2008

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The Detroit Pistons’ Allen Iverson skipped practice on Thanksgiving Day and found himself the subject of copious criticism, as the video above demonstrates.  However, Iverson admitted that he was wrong, confessed that he had no good excuses for bailing on his team, and in return was left out of just one game.  On the other side of the tracks, the New York Knicks’ Stephon Marbury has also been refusing to play. Failing to apologize, Marbury has further angered his team, and now faces temporary suspension and a $400,000 team fine.  The two cases raise a few important questions…

Discussion Questions:

1.  After reading the link about the Marbury crisis, what do you learn about apologies?  In other words, what are the risks of failing to apologize for wrongdoing?

2.  Why was Iverson’s apology accepted by his team?  What about it made it a good apology?

3.  What are the instances in which athletes, or anyone for that matter, should consider withholding an apology?  Why would this ever be in somebody’s rational self interests?



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