Inappropriate treatment

In recent years, there have been a number of instances of inappropriate treatment, discrimination and harassment in sports. It is FINCIS’s task to produce up-to-date information to support decision-making and the creation of operating models.

Inappropriate treatment is a broad concept that can be understood to include, for example, various forms of mental and physical abuse such as discrimination, harassment, abuse and bullying. Inappropriate treatment can include, for example, slander, ridicule, commenting on social media, pushing and shoving, hitting or excluding someone from a group. 

Inappropriate treatment in sports

Several national and international studies indicate that harassment, discrimination and other forms of inappropriate treatment are quite common in sports. Inappropriate treatment can be perpetrated by fellow athletes, coaches, spectators and social media followers. Research findings also highlight the difficulty of identifying and reporting inappropriate treatment, which often leads to cases remaining unresolved. Women and young people are particularly at risk of being targets of inappropriate treatment. The most effective way to prevent inappropriate treatment seems to be the active addressing of these issues in the training group or an athletes’ community.

FINCIS’s role

FINCIS’s mission is to raise discussion and produce information on ethics-related phenomena in sports. The aim is to identify the phenomena and use the information in the sports community when developing operating models to strengthen an ethically sustainable sports culture.

FINCIS has published two research reports on inappropriate treatment. The study on  athletes’ experiences of positive and negative treatment in Finnish competitive sports (report in Finnish, including English summary) published in 2022 surveyed the experiences of over 2,000 competitive athletes on inappropriate treatment. Another study published in 2022 examined the experiences and observations of employees of the sports community regarding inappropriate treatment in their work environment (report in Finnish, including English summary).

The 2020 study on  harassment in Finnish competitive sports (report in Finnish, including English summary) investigated the prevalence of sexual and gender-based harassment in Finnish competitive sports.