The amount of crimes that occur in and around sports has been a growing topic of conversation over the last decade in our society. Sports participants and spectators alike have been committing crimes on far more frequent basis over the last few years and in the minds of some, this is an issue that is getting or has gotten out of hand. There is a question that is asked by many, "Where does part of the game become a crime?" as well as; "Why are sports the cause of so much aggression?" This and many other questions relating to crime, in and around sports, are seeking an answer that may never be completely resolved.
When examining the issue of criminal acts in sports it is easy to realize that there are many places where these acts occur. The range of these acts is far more vast than just in the professional arenas. This is, however, what the public sees and hears about most often. While this is one of the major topics of this paper, criminal acts are found in all of sport ranging from professionals, to college, high school, and in youth sports, including the reaction of the fans. This paper will take an in-depth look at the four major points regarding criminal acts in sport: the acts themselves; the consequences of those acts; the possible reasons for the acts occurring; an analysis of a few major events that have occurred and the possible solutions to the problem of criminal acts in sport. In the section about fan reaction to sport, there will be an overall account of the individual acts and not personal cases due to the overload of personal events that occur.
During the evaluation of the events in each topic area there are some legal terms that may need to be defined. These terms may also be defined differently depending on the state that the event occurs in. At the end of this paper there is a list of definitions that describe what a certain legal action could mean. All forms of government view these definitions similarly, however, each state may have differing consequences for each of the crimes.
In the world of professional sports there are many criminal acts that are committed both on and off the playing surface. In this section we are going to look at a few cases where criminal acts have occurred. Thereafter, we will look at what the underlining issue may have been that caused them to occur and how these actions could be prevented from happening in the future.
Todd Bertuzzi of the Vancouver Canucks was charged with assault causing bodily harm by the Criminal Justice Branch of the Ministry of the Attorney General in British Columbia, Canada. Todd Bertuzzi was charged for assaulting Steve Moore from behind while on the ice in the third period of a game between the Vancouver Canucks and the Colorado Avalanche. "Team doctor Andrew Parker said Moore broke two vertebrae and the nerves in his neck were stretched, but there was no paralysis or evidence of spinal cord trauma. He also sustained a concussion and deep lacerations when Bertuzzi hit him from behind and drove him to the ice " (http://sports.espn.go.com/nhl/news/story?id=1766245) The hit was claimed to have been retaliation for an act that occurred between Moore and another player on the Canucks in a prior game. The charges were filed on Thursday June 24th 2004 in British Columbia; this charge was filed four months after the attack occurred. If tried in local courts Bertuzzi could face a maximum penalty of 18 months to 2 years in jail. However, if tried in the supreme court of British Columbia, Bertuzzi could face a maximum sentence of 10 years in the B.C. prison system. The NHL made a point of suspending Bertuzzi for the remainder of the 2003/2004 season and postseason with the stipulation that when the 2004/2005 training camps open they will reconsider the status of the situation and determine the amount of time Bertuzzi will sit...