Unfortunately, violence has become a part of everyday life in our world. It can be witnessed in many forms and of different proportions in numerous situations. Never, under any circumstances is violence good. When one thinks of violence, thoughts may arise of war, people committing violent acts against others, domestic violence within families, and not to mention the abundance of television shows and movies that are packed with sadistic, yet entertaining violence of all sorts. Over the past couple of decades there has been an increased concern regarding the spread of violence throughout our realm and in our homes. However, one area in which violence has had such heavy influence is within sports.
To analyze violence in sports, one must first determine what perpetuates violence in general. After a few class discussions and much thought there were many ideas as to what causes violence. If we knew what the cause, there would be no violence to begin with. The history of the earth has been a brutal and bloody struggle from the early days of humans. I feel this is rooted in the human instinct of competitiveness. The saying "survival of the fittest" has pertained to people thousands of years before Christ, to this very moment. Everyone is always out to do better than the next person, whether it is intentional or not. People tend to feel insulted or threatened when others do better than them in any aspect of life. As a result, this may lead to violence of all sorts.
It is a well known fact that violence is a major factor in all levels of today's sports. From hockey to bicycling, there isn't anyone who has not heard of an act of hostility erupt at a sporting event of some kind. It seems that the scene does not seem to be improving either. From the professionals, down to collegiate athletics, high school, and even youth programs, violence has made its mark in all sports and at every level. It is really no surprise to us when one tunes into the sports news and hears of another professional athlete being suspended or arrested for something new every day. It is now almost accepted and even expected for these people to do such things. One may find it particularly hard to understand how such gifted and talented individuals could commit such acts, as well as how acceptable it has become to the leagues and its audiences. Today's media significantly contributes to this acceptability of violence, particularly through television and the internet. Top athletes have become role models for the general public and leave lasting impacts on younger athletes. Children often idolize and imitate many of their favorite professional athletes to every extent. In some cases, these imitations and admirations often become negative as a result of violence.
Sports violence has been generally defined as behavior which causes harm, occurs outside the rules of the sport, and is unrelated to the competitive objectives of the sport. Such violence at sporting events may be committed by not only the players, but coaches, parents, and especially spectators. There are endless cases in sports history where violence has made serious negative impacts. There has been a well documented and easily noticed increase in both the frequency and seriousness of the acts of violence. One of the most recently covered and disgusting acts of hostility arose in the National Basketball League on November nineteenth when the Detroit Pistons' Ben Wallace violently shoved Indiana Pacers' forward, Ron Artest. Inside the Palace in Auburn Hills a fan then threw a cup of soda at Artest who immediately entered the stands and pursued the fan. Artest was followed by fellow teammates as a brawl erupted in the stands and back on the court.
Such violence is surprising at the moment, but once it sets in the act in most cases may have been easily preventable. Not only does this violence occur in the NBA but in just about every other sport as well. For...
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Terry, Peter C
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