Sports – Violence And Society Essay, Research Paper
With the increase in society taking a stance against violence by many people, sports hasbecome an areawhere some feel that the violent acts such as the hitting and fighting thatoccurs should be eliminated.You can not change something that has been around for solong because it would change the aspect of thegame to something completely different.The elimination of violence should not be done in sport becausethe violence is a part of thegame which would only hurt its popularity. The reasons that the violence is occurring insport is due to six theories according to JohnSchneider. “The violence in sport mirrors theviolence found in society, violence as the result ofeconomic incentives, the influence ofcrowd behavior on player violence, genetic causation for playeraggression, learning theoryand player aggression, and psychological stress and player violence”(Lapchick 230). Thetheories of sport mirroring society, violence as a result of economic incentive, andtheinfluence of the crowd behavior are the theories that I feel are responsible for theincreasing violencein sports. Most people when involved in a highly stressful situationwhere violence is around wouldprobably resort to a fight to resolve their differences. Insport, why should we expect any difference.In events such as hockey games, where peopleare expected to hit and make body contact, sooner or later afight will break out and thefans will yell and scream for their favorite player involved. Likeanything, if people aroundus are applauding us for a certain act we have done, we will try to do it overso that wewill continue to be praised. In sports, there are some players whose only role on the teamisto protect and enforce the unwritten rules of the game such as in hockey where it is notright to fightor hit a Wayne Gretezy or Mario Lemieux type of star player!.. His economicincentive is to protect the team and if he does not, a new line of work might be inthefuture. All three of those theories relate closely to the role of the fighter in sport andwhy it isthat he does commit the acts of violence. When leagues such as the NationalFootball League (NFL) or the National Hockey League (NHL) areasked to try andremove the violence from their sport, they are hesitant because it is not what the fanswant.”Bryant and Zillman report that television viewers enjoy NFL plays more when they arerough andviolent” (McPherson 294). Why should these leagues remove the violence that isoccurring if they are making money andkeeping people employed. The fans of the gameswant to see these situations and eliminating the fightingaspect would hurt the support.When I watch a hockey game or any other sporting event with contact,there is nothingbetter than seeing a good fight take place. “One of the best-selling videos in parts oftheNortheastern United States has been a collection of the best fights in the NHL”(McPherson 294). Even former NHL president Clarence Campbell felt that the violencetaking place in his sport wascalled for and was reluctant to remove the fighting and thebody contact because he knew that it is whatthe majority of hockey fans want.Fighting is awell-established safety valve for players. If violence ceases to exist, it will not bethe samegame. Insofar as fighting is part of the show, we certainly sell it. We do not promote it.Wetolerate it and we bring it under disciplinary control which we believe satisfies the public(Snyder201). Its better that the violence take place between two willing combatants suchas in sports than ina situation involving spousal abuse where the majority of the times thefemale is being attacked againsther consent. Allowing people not to be able vent theirfrustrations through sport in my mind wouldincrease the violence that is happening awayfrom the playing field. It is a known fact that sports doeskeep kids off the street and awayfrom gangs which is why you see so many athletic and boxing clubs beingrun out of theinner city. It is allowing the youth to take that hostility out on a willing participantwho isready and consenting rather than against an innocent bystander. Some individuals havegone as far as saying that sport is creating a deviant subculture where these athletes arebecoming the opposite of what was intended for them. “The emphasis in formalizedsporton 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, Ican never recall a time when I could have related my deviant behavior to my sporting past.Sports does notpromote poor sportsmanship, it creates a drive to succeed within yourselfand to try to do the best atwhatever you do whether it be in sports, school or at a job. Theviolence that is occurring today is not occurring more than it was ten or twenty yearsagolike some people might suggest, it is only being shown and talked about more by themass media. If thereis one group to blame for the increase in violence I feel that it wouldbe the media, not the athletesthemselves. If you turn on the television to watch asportscast, it will always glorify an act ofviolence like a “hit of the night” or repeats ofsome type of fight whether it be in hockey, boxing or a bench-clearingbrawl in baseball. Ican recall on numerous occasions where the media has hyped up a hockey gameinvolvingtwo “tough guys” and creating a hysteria in sporting world wanting to see the outcome ofthefight. Is this wrong for the media to be encouraging and glorifying the violence insport? I don’tthink so because the fans want to see it and like it or not, it is here to stay.Look at sports like boxing for example, who relies on the media to increase the sportsfansinterest in an upcoming match. When you can only fit approximately “17,000 people”into a Las Vegasboxing arena, the money is not made at the gate (Lunney 39). Millionsand millions of dollars aregathered from pay-per- view television where again millions ofspectators are waiting to see the outcomeof a match like the one two weeks ago involvingMike Tyson and Frank Bruno where Tyson made an easy “$30 million” Lunney 39). Weas society are attracted to this sort of sport violence and there is nothing wecan do about itto change it. Should we take steps to discourage the violence in sports is a question that isbeing asked todaydue to the glorification of certain events like University ofMoncton-University of Prince Edward Islandhockey game where a referee was assaultedon the ice after disallowing then allowing the same goal. Thiskind of violence occurs verylittle in the sport of hockey considering the amount of games that areplayed throughoutthe year. Sure there are acts like these but they are not the norm. It would be hardtoeliminate violence that is in sport because it has been there for so long and is a part of thegame.Fans do not want to see it be removed because it is sometimes the only part of thegame that is interesting if the game is dull. Players know that a good, solid hit or a bit fightcan sometimes putmomentum on their side giving them extra drive to pull ahead in thegame. Violence in sport is nothaving a negative effect on society, it is only allowing fansto !enjoy themselves while they are watching a particular sport. Yes there are instanceswhere players andfans do go overboard and get carried away causing fights and sometimesriots, but it is not very often.When it does happen, it is glorified so that people think sportsare played by bozos and goons who canonly fight. The violence that is in sport is here tostay and should be left that way so that the realfans who know what is going on can enjoythe sport that they have took an interest in instead of media types and others who do nothave a clue in what they are talking about when saying that the violence insports should beeliminated.