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Effects Of Gambling In Sports

            Gambling has left its mark on the world of sports for some time. Through gambling many people have been made rich; many more have been made poor. Through it all one thing remains constant – nearly all side effects of gambling on sports are negative.
             Gambling in itself is very “addictive” (“Effects of Gambling” 1), and once someone starts to gamble it becomes very hard for him to stop. The addiction is very similar to that of nicotine, or caffeine, in that if you try to quit your body and mind will go through serious withdrawals. Many professional athletes trick themselves into believing that if they either gamble on teams that they do not play for, or simply cause their teams to remain under the spread while still winning, that it is alright. These misconceptions have led to some of the most infamous cases of gambling on sports of all time.
             Shoeless Joe Jackson played for the Chicago White Sox in 1919. That year his team reached the World Series and lost five games to three. It was later discovered that Jackson’s teammates had intentionally thrown the series for a large sum of money. Though no actual evidence was found against Jackson, he received a lifetime ban from baseball, based on being “guilty by association”. (“Official Statement Regarding Joe Jackson” 1) Jackson was tried in two different courts, and both times he was found innocent. Nonetheless, he received a ban that has still not been lifted. There is also factual evidence to prove Joe’s innocence. He led the series in batting average, runs, home runs, and played flawless defense. It has also been proven that Jackson was offered $10,000, and later $20,000 (huge sums in 1919) to throw the series, and both times he declined. Jackson is banned today because he knew of the fix and did nothing to stop it. He did ask to be benched, and went so far as to tell his owner of the fix (“Facts Relating to Joe Jackson” 3), but to Major League Baseball he did not do enough.