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Essay/Term paper: Violence in sports

Essay, term paper, research paper:  Society

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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 where the majority of the times the
female is being attacked against
her consent. Allowing people not to be able vent their frustrations through
sport in my mind would
increase the violence that is happening away from the playing field. It is a
known fact that sports does
keep kids off the street and away from gangs which is why you see so many
athletic and boxing clubs being
run out of the inner city. It is allowing the youth to take that hostility
out on a willing participant
who is ready and consenting rather than against an innocent bystander.

Some individuals have gone as far as saying that sport is creating a
deviant subculture where
these athletes are becoming the opposite of what was intended for them. "The
emphasis in formalized
sport on victory may, in fact, promote deviant behavior and poor
sportsmanship" (Snyder 101).

I would have to totally disagree with the above quote because
being an athlete myself, I can
never recall a time when I could have related my deviant behavior to my
sporting past. Sports does not
promote poor sportsmanship, it creates a drive to succeed within yourself and
to try to do the best at
whatever you do whether it be in sports, school or at a job.

The violence that is occurring today is not occurring more than it
was ten or twenty years ago
like some people might suggest, it is only being shown and talked about more
by the mass media. If there
is one group to blame for the increase in violence I feel that it would be
the media, not the athletes
themselves. If you turn on the television to watch a sportscast, it will
always glorify an act of
violence like
a "hit of the night" or repeats of some type of fight whether it be in
hockey, boxing or a bench-clearing
brawl in baseball. I can recall on numerous occasions where the media has
hyped up a hockey game
involving two "tough guys" and creating a hysteria in sporting world wanting
to see the outcome of the
fight. Is this wrong for the media to be encouraging and glorifying the
violence in sport? I don't
think so because the fans want to see it and like it or not, it is here to

Look at sports like boxing for example, who relies on the media to
increase the sports fans
interest in an upcoming match. When you can only fit approximately "17,000
people" into a Las Vegas
boxing arena, the money is not made at the gate (Lunney 39). Millions and
millions of dollars are
gathered from pay-per- view television where again millions of spectators are
waiting to see the outcome
of a match like the one two weeks ago involving Mike Tyson and Frank Bruno
where Tyson made an easy "$30
million" Lunney 39). We as society are attracted to this sort of sport
violence and there is nothing we
can do about it to change it.

Should we take steps to discourage the violence in sports is a
question that is being asked today
due to the glorification of certain events like University of
Moncton-University of Prince Edward Island
hockey game where a referee was assaulted on the ice after disallowing then
allowing the same goal. This
kind of violence occurs very little in the sport of hockey considering the
amount of games that are
played throughout the year. Sure there are acts like these but they are not
the norm. It would be hard
to eliminate violence that is in sport because it has been there for so long
and is a part of the game.
Fans do not want to see it be removed because it is sometimes the only part
of the game that is
interesting if the game is dull. Players know that a good, solid hit or a
bit fight can sometimes put
momentum on their side giving them extra drive to pull ahead in the game.
Violence in sport is not
having a negative effect on society, it is only allowing fans to !
enjoy themselves while they are watching a particular sport. Yes there are
instances where players and
fans do go overboard and get carried away causing fights and sometimes riots,
but it is not very often.
When it does happen, it is glorified so that people think sports are played
by bozos and goons who can
only fight. The violence that is in sport is here to stay and should be left
that way so that the real
fans who know what is going on can enjoy the sport that they have took an
interest in instead of media
types and others who do not have a clue in what they are talking about when
saying that the violence in
sports should be eliminated. 

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