be not playing the game

be not playing the game

mainly BRITISH, OLD-FASHIONED
If someone is not playing the game, they are behaving in an unfair and unacceptable way. Civilized people shouldn't behave like this. It's just not playing the game. Compare with play the game. Note: This is a quotation from the Olympic Creed written by Pierre de Coubertin, founder of the modern Olympics, in 1896. The expression was then used by Sir Henry Newbolt in his poem `Vitaï Lampada' (1898); `But the voice of the schoolboy rallies the ranks: "Play up! Play up! and play the game!"'
See also: game, not, play