This week, we look at the dark side of professional tennis, where underpaid players are selling matches just to break even. Ranked around 200th in the world, a player named Nicolás Kicker was found guilty of match-fixing in 2018. His story reveals a lot of systemic problems within the sport. Then, we hear about the phenomenon of 'vice signalling' from columnist Stephen Bush. It’s similar to 'virtue signalling,' but instead of publicly gesturing towards altruism the vice signaller panders by promising cruelty. Think Donald Trump’s border wall, or Boris Johnson’s threats to deport asylum seekers to Rwanda.


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Links and mentions from the episode:

– William Ralston’s piece ‘The fixer, the cheat and the corruption crisis in global tennis’: https://on-ft-com.ezproxy.cul.columbia.edu/3v9nW9L

– Nicolas Kicker fixing a match at the 2015 Barranquilla Challenger: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vcF9hq668Ow

– Stephen Bush’s piece ‘How ‘vice-signalling’ swallowed electoral politics’: https://on-ft-com.ezproxy.cul.columbia.edu/3BqNtzd

– Stephen Bush’s piece ‘Failed Rwanda asylum flight puts all of the UK on a rocky course’: https://on-ft-com.ezproxy.cul.columbia.edu/3BccmhW

– Christopher Grimes’ column ‘Disney chief’s ‘Don’t Say Gay’ drama is a crisis of his own making’: https://on-ft-com.ezproxy.cul.columbia.edu/3IYQ98D

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Original music by Metaphor Music. Mixing and sound design by Breen Turner and Sam Giovinco.

Read a transcript of this episode on FT.com



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