Comedian Rodney Dangerfield once joked, “I went to the fight the other night and a hockey game broke out”, but violence in sports is a continuous problem that is not amusing. Whether the conversation is the about the “blood games” of the Ancient Greeks and Romans or the 2012 NFL season, there is one common factor and it is violence. Over the course of history sporting events have become more civilized which does not make the “blood games” and Monday Night Football an apples to apples comparison, however one cannot debate the fact that violence still remains a main stay in sports today. The real debate is who is responsible for its continuous existence. Has society witnessed so much violence that sports would not be sports without it? Did the media and the commercialization of sports help keep violence alive in today’s games? Is there truly enough evidence to pinpoint the real culprit or can we all mutually agree that all parties are to blame?
The author argues that much of the violence in sports today involves overconformity to the norms of the sport ethic which is absolutely valid. Jay Coakley discusses how athletes may use violence to enhance their status amongst peers and gain popularity with spectators. He believes some athletes compensate their insecurities with extreme measures to prove themselves because “they are only as good as their last game”. Every day athletes are looking to make that big devastating hit that will have fans jumping out of their seats, teammates giving them high fives and coaches praising them in team film sessions. They have a desire to gain a reputation that demands respects, a player with a killer instinct that opponents fear. While I agree with Coakley, it is only to a certain degree. In today’s society you must factor in the media and the commercialization of sports as well. Players understand that the big hit will gain them the respect they desire, but it will also gain a clip in ESPN’s top ten highlights....
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