Violence in Sports

Topics: Sport, National Hockey League, Bench-clearing brawl Pages: 10 (1453 words) Published: October 8, 1999
With the increase in society taking a stance against violence by many people,

sports has become an area

where some feel that the violent acts such as the hitting and fighting that

occurs should be eliminated.

You can not change something that has been around for so long because it

would change the aspect of the

game to something completely different. The elimination of violence should

not be done in sport because

the violence is a part of the game which would only hurt its popularity.

The reasons that the violence is occurring in sport is due to six

theories according to John

Schneider. "The violence in sport mirrors the violence found in society,

violence as the result of

economic incentives, the influence of crowd behavior on player violence,

genetic causation for player

aggression, learning theory and player aggression, and psychological stress

and player violence"

(Lapchick 230).

The theories of sport mirroring society, violence as a result of

economic incentive, and the

influence of the crowd behavior are the theories that I feel are responsible

for the increasing violence

in sports. Most people when involved in a highly stressful situation where

violence is around would

probably resort to a fight to resolve their differences. In sport, why

should we expect any difference.

In events such as hockey games, where people are expected to hit and make

body contact, sooner or later a

fight will break out and the fans will yell and scream for their favorite

player involved. Like

anything, if people around us are applauding us for a certain act we have

done, we will try to do it over

so that we will continue to be praised. In sports, there are some players

whose only role on the team is

to protect and enforce the unwritten rules of the game such as in hockey

where it is not right to fight

or hit a Wayne Gretezy or Mario Lemieux type of star player!

. His economic incentive is to protect the team and if he does not, a new

line of work might be in the

future. All three of those theories relate closely to the role of the

fighter in sport and why it is

that he does commit the acts of violence.

When leagues such as the National Football League (NFL) or the

National Hockey League (NHL) are

asked to try and remove the violence from their sport, they are hesitant

because it is not what the fans

want. "Bryant and Zillman report that television viewers enjoy NFL plays

more when they are rough and

violent" (McPherson 294).

Why should these leagues remove the violence that is occurring if

they are making money and

keeping people employed. The fans of the games want to see these situations

and eliminating the fighting

aspect would hurt the support. When I watch a hockey game or any other

sporting event with contact,

there is nothing better than seeing a good fight take place. "One of the

best-selling videos in parts of

the Northeastern United States has been a collection of the best fights in

the NHL" (McPherson 294).

Even former NHL president Clarence Campbell felt that the violence

taking place in his sport was

called for and was reluctant to remove the fighting and the body contact

because he knew that it is what

the majority of hockey fans want.

Fighting is a well-established safety valve for players. If violence ceases

to exist, it will not be

the same game. Insofar as fighting is part of the show, we certainly sell

it. We do not promote it.

We tolerate it and we bring it under disciplinary control which we believe

satisfies the public (Snyder


Its better that the violence take place between two willing

combatants such as in sports than in

a situation involving spousal abuse...
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