Golfer Brian Davis is a golf runner-up but an ethics champion

Sport builds character. So we say, and we stick to the idea even as our favorite slugger takes illegal performance-enhancing drugs and lies about it, and our favorite football coach grins while his players taunt an outmatched opponent. But there are people of character in sport. Today’s ethical sportsman is English golfer Brian Davis, who called a two-stroke penalty on himself that ended his chance to win the Verizon-Heritage golf tournament. Davis’s violation was to barely—imperceptibly to anyone else—nudge a reed that overhung his ball in a sandy hazard. Davis finished second, and earned $411,000 less than Jim Furyk, the winner. There’s an excellent report of the incident in The New York Times.

Golfers tend to downplay their ethical behavior, shrugging it off as part of the game. Wouldn’t it be nice if it were part of all games!

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