Violence In Sports
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 201). 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