39) What is endorsement, anyway?

OK, I know someone who works for a company that has a social committee.  They organise fun, social events for employees of that company.  They recently proposed a trip to the local greyhound racing track.  It will probably not surprise most readers of this blog to be told that I do not support the greyhound racing industry.  Neither does my friend.

We worked together on an email which was designed to be informative, non-ranty and polite, but which also suggested that the committee might want to re-think their proposal.  Their reply, when it came, was also polite and full of 'respect' for the views expressed.  It said that even the committee had mixed feelings about the event, but that if there was enough support for the event, it would go ahead.

They started the final paragraph of their reply with the following phrase:

Please be reassured that we are not endorsing the industry in any way…

Hm.  Read that again.

A dictionary definition of 'endorse' is "to approve, support or
sustain".  To my mind, the committee is both supporting and sustaining
the industry by organising this trip, because it is likely to encourage
people to go to a greyhound race who would not otherwise have gone.  Also, the very act of proposing the trip actually implies company-sanctioned
approval.

At the very least, they are encouraging others to endorse
the industry, and encouraging someone to commit a morally reprehensible
act is, in itself, morally reprehensible.  To attempt to remove
onesself from the moral implications of such encouragement is a nauseatingly disingenuous
piece of political backhandedness.

If, as some events committees do, they subsidise the cost of events for employees, then they are, actually, directly endorsing the industry.

Do you think they would be allowed to say they 'did not endorse' the stripping industry if they organised a lad's night out to a lapdancing club?  When a decision is made by committee, is it really an opportunity for
the members of that committee to abrogate all moral responsibility for
the decision?

Irrespective of my support – or not – for the event itself, I am infuriated by the refusal of the committee to recognise their implicit support for the events that they not only suggest but organise.

I used to work for a company that organised a day-long pub crawl every year.  It was fab.  They didn't give us money towards alcohol, but they subsidised lunch and dinner for the participants.  But I would have understood if the event had been abolished as offensive to a section of the workforce.

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