Violence in Sports

Topics: Aggression, Violence, Psychology Pages: 2 (537 words) Published: April 30, 2008
Violence in Sports
According to the Canadian Centre for Ethics in Sport, "Violence is a physical assault or physically harmful actions by a player that takes place in a sports context and that is intended to cause physical pain or injury to another player (or fan, coach, game official, etc.), where such harmful actions bear no direct relationship to the rules and associated competitive goals of the sport". Many different theories have been formed opinions about the reasons athletes become aggressive while participating in sports activities. These theories include biological, psychological, and social learning explanations.

Biologically, science suggests that aggression is a basic inherent human reaction. Sports have become an acceptable way for athletes to release pent-up aggression. Sometimes athletes are overcome by the abundance of aggression and become emotional about situations that occur during a game. Psychological studies suggest that frustration is the reason for the occurrence of violence in sports. Situations that may spark violence in a sports event include: fans heckling players, questionable calls by officials, and players’ egos. In these situations, frustration tends to build up until an outburst of violence occurs. Certain social learning theorists believe that violence in sports is a learned behavior. Rewards and punishments are used to regulate this behavior. The theorists believe that when a child sees their favorite sports figures being aggressive on T.V., they begin to feel that this behavior is acceptable. The children also realize that these athletes get paid millions of dollars for what they are doing. Children who witness violence in sports begin to idolize the athletes and are more likely to show aggressive behaviors while participating in sports activities. The media plays a pivotal role in the promotion of sports. The media’s job is to serve the entertainment needs of sports fans. With the added pressure of the media, monetary...

Cited: "Sports Violence." Canadian Centre for Ethics in Sports. 2000. 9 Dec 2007 .
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