Podcast: Cheating in Sports and the Infamous Black Sox Scandal

Hello everyone, and welcome to our podcast. This podcast focused on cheating in sports, specifically the infamous 1919 Black Sox scandal. Benjamin Hadlock is the host, and for this podcast he brought in three historical experts to discuss the context of the scandal, and whether the Black Sox players got what they deserved. In particular, this podcast mainly focuses on the social and economic issues surrounding baseball at the time, specifically players rights. The first expert, Andrew Salchli, gives an overview of the event and focuses mainly on providing context for the scandal. Austin Lotspeich is brought in to argue that the Black Sox got what they deserved and why the punishment was justified. Trace Oliver is the final expert, and his argument is that the Black Sox players were forced to cheat due to the nature of baseball at the time. We hope that you enjoy and that, at the very least, you learned more about baseball and cheating.



Benjamin Hadlock


Trace Oliver

Austin Lotspeich

Andrew Salchli


Works Cited


Anderson, William B. 2001. “Saving the National Pastime’s Image.” Journalism History 27, no. 3: 105. Academic Search Complete, EBSCOhost (accessed February 20, 2018).

Blausdell, Lowell K. 2007. “Judge Landis Takes a Different Approach.” Nine: A Journal Of Baseball History & Culture 15, no. 2: 32-45. Academic Search Complete, EBSCOhost (accessed February 20, 2018).

Bachin, Robin F. “At the Nexus of Labor and Leisure: Baseball, Nativism, and the 1919 Black Sox Scandal.” Journal of Social History, vol. 36, no. 4, 2003, pp. 941–962. JSTOR, JSTOR, www.jstor.org/stable/3790358.

James R. Devine, Baseball’s Labor Wars in Historical Context: The 1919 Chicago White Sox as a Case-Study in Owner-Player Relations, Marq. Sports L. J. 1 (1994)

Eschner, Kat. “The 1919 Black Sox Baseball Scandal Was Just One of Many.” Smithsonian.com. September 01, 2017. Accessed May 01, 2018. https://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/1919-black-sox-baseball-scandal-wasnt-first-180964673/.


FIFA: Budweiser, Corruption, and Cuckoo Clocks

The Fédération Internationale de Football Association, otherwise known as FIFA, was the first globally established organization for football. Created in 1904, it was meant to govern international games between different regions. Comprising of only European countries at first, it quickly expanded to include countries from all over the world. Using the Olympics as a basis, they created an international tournament known as the World Cup in 1930. The World Cup itself is a tournament that has had controversy surrounding it since the beginning when Europe hosted the 1934 and 1938, causing issues with Latin American countries as they believed that the tournament would rotate between the two continents. This controversy has continued in modern times, with most if not all the recent tournaments having their respective issues. Like the 1938 World Cup, these modern controversies have been centered around the influence of governments, which creates the perception of the World Cup being a political event rather than a sporting one.

In 2006, the tournament was held in Germany, a decision which a satirical German magazine has taken credit for. For the 2006 World Cup, South Africa and Germany made it to the finals of the bidding process. It had been a long and difficult process, and it was looking that the vote would end up in a tie, in which case the President of FIFA, Sepp Blatter, would have cast the tie breaker. It was widely believed that he would have voted for South Africa but was denied the chance when Charlie Dempsey of New Zealand abstained. (Newman) The reason for his abstention is rather interesting, as he had been under a lot of pressure leading up to the vote from both sides. As a joke, a German satirical magazine sent him a gift basket containing sausages and a cuckoo clock, asking that he vote for Germany. This has been cited as causing him to abstain from the vote, and Dempsey even seemed to acknowledge that, saying, “This final fax broke my neck,” (Newman) the fax being the note that was included with the gift basket. Unfortunately, this was a rather satirical take on what has become the largest issue in FIFA, that being bribery.

Bribery in sporting events is something that is not new but is something that has increasingly become apparent in FIFA. The 2010 World Cup was held in South Africa, a decision which has also come under attack due to new information alleging that South Africa bribed FIFA officials and the then vice-president of FIFA. Much of this information came out in 2015, and it was found that South Africa paid over ten million USD to secure the bid. (Telegraph) The information alleges that it was Morocco that won the bid, which was found out when officials talked to one another afterwards and found that the votes did not match. Rather than having a recount, they allowed the tournament to be held in South Africa despite seemingly knowing this fact. (Telegraph) Disregarding the bribery taking place, the 2010 World Cup also brought up the issue of human rights, and whether a country should even host the tournament if the infrastructure was not in place.

In 2014 this issue of infrastructure was readily seen during and leading up to the world cup in Brazil. In Brazil there were massive protests about the amount of public money being spent on the event. Money which was spent on building stadiums and other infrastructure around where the tournament was being held in a rush to be ready for the tournament. This rush to be ready led to multiple safety issues, such as collapsing buildings, fires, and the death of eight workers. (Bowersox) This all came at a time in which the government of Brazil itself was in turmoil, with multiple scandals affecting the highest levels of government. They also faced external pressure and were forced to change a law regarding the sale of alcohol at soccer games that came to be known as the Budweiser Bill. (Marcaleti)All of this and more showed that there were issues in selecting Brazil as the location for the World Cup, issues that have seemingly been ignored based on the decisions for the 2018 and 2022 locations for the World Cup.

All of these controversies have shown that the World Cup is becoming a political tool rather than a soccer tournament. The question then becomes what to do about it, which is something that the 1938 World Cup can help with. Protesting the World Cup worked then, and there is the chance that it will work again. Even if it doesn’t, teams and governments need to be held accountable as well as understand that they are part of the problem as well.





Bowersox, Zack. “Naming, Shaming, and International Sporting Events: Does the Host Nation Play Fair?” Political Research Quarterly 69, no. 2 (2016): 258-69. http://www.jstor.org/stable/44018008.