Arthur Ashe's Ethical Dilemma

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1. The ethical problem is whether to respect Arthur Ashe’s privacy or come out with the story based off the notion of the public’s ‘right to know’. 2. Some facts that we would have to be aware of would be the social stigma of AIDS at the time. This stigma touches on homosexuality. At that time Magic Johnson had contracted the disease as well and was thought of as gay or bisexual. The stigma then was that HIV/AIDS was contracted through sex between men and not simply blood transfusions, which were equally probable. “The story received an enormous amount of media attention”(Study). Another fact is political. Aside from athletics, at the time Arthur was a fighter for human rights, he was known and seemingly respected. It would be different if…show more content…
The sports editor’s claimants are Arthur and his family, the public, his job, as well as his profession as a journalist. He is obligated to Arthur because he has a lot of power to hurt him by revealing such private matters. Thus he is obligated on the basis of non-injury when it comes to not harming Arthur and his family. He could derail Arthur’s focused fight for human rights by making people focus on his disease. He would put Ashe in a difficult position where he’d have to consider lying to protect his family’s privacy or revealing information he doesn’t want revealed. There lies the potential to harm his family because it strikes at something that may keep them most bonded, which is their privacy. The editor is obligated to the public because it is his job to inform them, yet this may have a negative effect on his obligation to do his job as a journalist and practice truth telling. This can endanger his own professional obligation because going out with this story might change the way the public view journalist. They might come to wonder if journalists hunger enough for a story that they’d pry too far into someone else’s life just to get it. Lastly, the sport’s editor has an obligation to his organization, USA Today. He’s the editor and he has claims to the people that affect whether or not he even keeps his job such as publishers and sponsors. He can’t scrap a story just to scrap it, especially if it is going to get as much attention as Magic Johnson’s case did when…show more content…
The best-case scenario would be that it would give Arthur some time to process his conditions and maybe consider how he’d want to explain his story. This could lead him to accepting it and considering campaigning for it sometime in the future alongside human rights. This scenario also gives Ashe time to figure out how he wants to frame himself, if USA Today just released the story, we’d think about perceiving Arthur a different way versus him speaking about himself. A previously stated scenario is that it sheds light on an important issue that at the time wasn’t really discussed. Worst-case scenarios are that another newspaper picks up the story and decides to release it before Ashe can make a statement and USA Today could release ours. We’d lose money and Arthur’s story would be out without him having a handle on it in the way that he wished to. Honoring a professional ideal might invalidate this approach. If it’s the job of a journalist to deliver news, then he or she should do his or her job; a timeline doesn’t matter. Loyalties do reside with the public, but they lie with a journalist’s organization and profession. John Stuart’s ‘harm principle’ does support this approach. As previously stated, it ensures by restricting a person’s liberty, harm isn’t done. Harm was afflicted on Arthur the second someone contacted him about his condition, but by postponing the release of this story, we can less the overall harm. It would be

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