February 26, 2008
Violence in Sport
Violence in sport should be considered a part of the game. In most situations, violent actions are not intended to harm another player; nevertheless, situations do occur in which players suffer injuries caused intentionally by another player. The question then is how to deal with each situation. Assertive behavior, such as the tackle that injured former Miami Hurricane running back Willis McGahee in 2002's national championship game should not be considered for civil lawsuits. Incidents involving incidental aggression should not be considered for civil lawsuits either, especially since most of the time the act is part of a well-thought strategy. An example of this type of violence would be the Hack-a-Shaq strategy many teams have used in the NBA. Knowing that Shaquille Oneal is less than a 60% free throw shooter for his career, teams have decided to intentionally foul Oneal late in critical games. Harm is intended, but no anger is involved as the opposing players have only implemented a strategy in order to win. Assertive behavior and instrumental aggression are both inherent components of contact sports; however, players committing acts involving hostile aggression should be liable if their acts of violence cause injury.
Hackbart v. Cincinnati Bengals, Inc. is a good case to illustrate excessive violence in professional sport. The 1979 incident involved Dale Hackbart, a defensive back for the Denver Broncos, and Charles "Booby" Clark, the offensive back for the Cincinnati Bengals. As Hackbart was kneeling down, Clark struck Hackbart with a right forearm to the back of Hackbart's neck and head. No action was taken initially, but Hackbart later found out that he had a serious neck fracture, causing him to seek damages in court. Applying the assumption of risk doctrine, the court explained that the football field should be looked at like a battlefield; therefore, violence and brutality... [continues]
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(2008, 03). Violence in Sport. StudyMode.com. Retrieved 03, 2008, from http://www.studymode.com/essays/Violence-Sport-133794.html
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