Social justice has recently come to the forefront of many companies’ considerations, particularly within corporate social responsibility (CSR) programs. Particular attention has been focused on issues like climate change, water use and biodiversity as part of CSR initiatives.
However, social justice encompasses sports and the law as well. The US Supreme Court has spoken on numerous social justice related cases such as Tinker v. Des Moines Independent Community School District and Flood v. Kuhn – two cases which address it head on.
Defining the Intersection
Social justice refers to business actions and practices that aim to help improve the world, with its foundation resting on the concept that every person deserves access to wealth, health, well-being, justice, privileges and opportunity despite any potential social dimensions that might limit access or prevent opportunities from reaching them.
Principles of democracy include controlling monopolies, building checks and balances within social institutions and realigning distribution with participation (output/input). Furthermore, democracy advocates for protecting property rights and contracts as sacred tenets as well as supporting free markets as an avenue to redress injustices.
Though social justice remains difficult to define precisely, its application to business is essential. This readings course explores how businesses can approach issues related to race and gender equality, worker rights, climate change/environment protection and AI/tech. Each week will highlight different topics impacting companies of all sizes; no prior experience with business law is required for participation.
What Is Social Justice?
COVID-19’s devastating impacts on minority communities has exposed a widespread desire for change across society, particularly as it pertains to poverty, inequality, environmental sustainability and marginalized groups’ exploitation. While activists play an essential part in pushing for social justice through advocacy work such as marching and protests against injustice, ultimately it is public administrators such as government agencies, non-profit organizations and foundations who develop policy proposals and make the changes needed to bring about an equitable world.
Though it may not always be feasible for companies to take a stand on every divisive societal issue, consumers now expect them to. Consumers have become more sensitive to corporate “woke washing”, with customers expecting them to take stands on issues like criminal justice, racial equality and voting rights – although any positions taken must align closely with their mission or risk lasting damage to the brand.
The Future of Social Justice in Sports
As athletes and fans return to stadiums this season, the Dru Mort Sampson Center for Diversity and Inclusion at KU Law invites you to participate in a discussion about how sports can contribute to social justice by furthering it through competitive play.
Social justice issues in sports have received increased attention since 2020 when Colin Kaepernick began kneeling during the national anthem to protest US oppression of Black people and other issues. His action ignited protests by players from all sports as well as discussions surrounding league/team rules, collective bargaining agreements, and legal relationships between teams and their players.
These issues frequently touch upon various legal topics, such as First Amendment rights and discrimination claims. The Supreme Court has tackled social justice issues relating to sports on numerous occasions – see Tinker v. Des Moines Independent School Dist. and Flood v. MLB as examples – with sports litigation often raising these same issues as well.
The Legal Issues
Legal issues refer to any issue or dispute which requires legal intervention in order to be settled, from planned events like buying a house or making a will to unexpected occurrences such as accidents at work and even disagreements regarding ethics and morality. Legal issues may occur during both planned events as well as unexpected ones – such as unexpectedly buying a car from someone, or unexpected circumstances like an accident happening unexpectedly at work.
Business leaders must anticipate potential legal issues that could affect their company, such as new laws or interpretations thereof, or changes to government policy. Addressing such legal matters requires professional input; as a result it’s crucial that access reliable sources for reliable information is maintained.
Gale’s Business and Social Justice Collection contains an assortment of resources for researching business trends related to social justice. Ranging from reports and articles to scholarly essays, Gale provides students with comprehensive content that helps them comprehend how businesses should serve society in an ethical manner.