Aggression and Violence in Sport

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In the world of sports today there is a constant theme in every sport aggression and violence. Aggression can be shown in a lot of different ways in sports. In baseball aggression can be throwing a pitch inside to a player or sliding into second base and taking the second baseman or short stop out. In basketball it can be a hard foul or setting a pick that blind sides a player. And in NASCAR it can be something as little at bumping another car during a race. Over the past few years violence and aggression in sports has gotten bigger and bigger. It seems like you can’t go a week or two without hearing about a fight or altercation that has happened at a sporting event between a couple of players or teams. In the past three years the MLB, college football, and the NBA have had some of their worst cases of violence. Is it because players are getting paid more and more money? Is it that that are getting to be younger players in the league that they don’t know to control their anger and aggression? Aggressions and violence has been in sports ever since they first began. In baseball throwing inside to a batter or doing a takeout slide at second are two examples of aggressive behavior, but unless it gets out of hand the umpires and players don’t get mad. If players keep getting hit on inside pitches in the same game or when they play the same teams than there is usually retaliation. MLB usually lets the players police themselves unless something gets out of hand. A bench clearing brawl may end up in player suspensions and fines but nothing too drastic because usually in baseball bench clearing brawl don’t amount to much maybe a punch or two being landed. The worst brawl of late didn’t involve two teams it involved it involved Frank Francisco of the Texas Rangers and an Oakland Athletics fan. A fan had been heckling the Rangers bullpen the whole game and said a racial slur and Francisco threw a folding chair into the crowd and hit the fans wife. Francisco was suspended for 16 games for the incident. (Pitcher Wants to Limit Carryover, 2004) In the NBA the biggest display of aggression and violence ever occurred in 2004 at the Palace of Auburn Hills. A game between the Detroit Pistons and the Indiana Pacers was coming to an end with the Pacers leading 97-82 with 45.9 seconds remaining when Pacers forward Ron Artest fouled Pistons forward Ben Wallace hard. Wallace was upset about being fouled so hard in late in a game that was already over and shoved Artest. Then several players from each team joined in. The focus of the on-court scuffling gradually moved away from Artest. He then climbed up on the scorer's table and laid down on it. Angered by Artest taunting him and pretending to give a radio interview while lying on the table, Wallace threw an armband at him. A spectator, John Green, then threw a beer cup at Artest while he was lying on the table. Artest responded by charging into the stands and confronting the man he mistakenly believed was responsible, triggering a violent response from nearby spectators. A fan then proceeded to throw a cup of water on Artest. After the cup was thrown, Stephen Jackson ran to the fan and punched him. (Pacers-Pistons brawl) Several spectators engaged in fights with Pacers players, including Green. Others threw cups of beer and soda at Pacer players. Two spectators angrily walked onto the court. One of them, A.J. Shackleford, confronted Artest, who was making his way back to the court. Artest punched him, which started another melee that eventually included several Pacer players, most notably Jermaine O'Neal, who was shown on video slide-punching another fan who had trespassed onto the court floor, later identified as Charlie Haddad. (Pacers-Pistons brawl) The Pistons announcer, John Mason, called the game with 45.9 seconds remaining, and the Pacers were awarded the 97-82 "win" without the game finishing. More beer, soda, ice, popcorn, clothing, and even a chair were thrown at Pacer players and other...
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