Violence In Sports

Violence In Sports VIOLENCE IN SPORTS Steeler running back Rocky Bleier, whose war time experiences, not so oddly, offer some insights. To Bleier, there are interesting parallels between survival in war and survival in the NFL. The experiences with war injuries and football injuries are quite the same, he said. (Casay) The injuries that are accumulated during sports are rapidly increasing to the point that there are injured players on every team in each game that is played. This is especially true in the most physical professional sports, i.e., NFL and the NHL.

Most of these injuries are directly related to the increasing violent nature of pro athletes. `The cost of the aggression — the punishment — has to be greater than the benefits, said Dr. Brenda Bredemeier, sports psychology consultant at the University of California-Berkley. The latest outbreak of violence occurred in Bredemeier’s back yard, Oakland, where (Latrell) Sprewell attacked Coach P.J. Carlesimo during practice and, according to published reports, threatened to kill him if he wasn’t traded.(Detroit Press) Pro athletes are committing criminal acts and the law for the most part is letting them get away with crimes. Another case of violence by a pro athlete happened recently. Ray Lewis was initially charged with murder along with two of his friends for an altercation that happened in Atlanta after the Superbowl on January 31, 2000.

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The three men got into a fight with two other men and killed them. Lewis pleaded guilty to obstruction of justice and Superior Court Judge Alice D. Bonner sentenced Lewis to 12 months’ probation, the maximum sentence for a first-time offender.(CNNSI) This case made me think to myself, Would a man facing murder charges with two of his friends be able to walk a free man with no jail time at all and still be accepted by society? Pro athletes receive star status by the public and the media, encouraging law enforcement officials to look the other way whenever they break the law. Our judicial system in turn hands out less severe penalties for criminal offences committed by pro athletes than the average criminal offender. Violence in professional sports is seen in the actions of one player against another, but is now rapidly increasing outside of the games to where the players are now being deemed as criminals as well as athletes and tarnishes their image as role models to kids. Athletes in pro sports are paid outrageous amounts to play, which gives them more incentive to be violent.

Some argue that the athletes deserve these wages. These enormous amounts of money that pro athletes are making are ridiculous. The average earned income in major league baseball is over $800,000 a season(Fizel, 83), and some of these players just sit the bench all year. These high salaries are beneficial in making the athletes more violent. How is it fair that a man that can hit a ball four hundred feet to send a baseball out of the park make $30 million a season? Barry Bonds is truly a great athlete, but to be paid that much he should be able to hit home runs with his eyes closed. Michael Jordan is the greatest man to ever walk across the hard wood floors of professional basketball, but to be paid $63 million in one season is almost sickening.

Football players arent any better but are a little different when it comes to why they are paid so much. They have a lot more at stake when they go out on to the field to do battle. They have to consider the possibility of getting injured at any time because of the violent nature of the sport. They are paid to be big, mean, fast, and ruthless out on the field against men just as big and ruthless as themselves. Kevin Green, a defensive linebacker said It is true that we are getting paid outrageous amount for what we do out on the turf, but we are the most likely to get hurt in all professional sports.

We want to make sure we get what we need before we get out of the league.(OHara, 12) That is the typical mindset of pro football players. The signification of the relation between violence in pro sports and the money the athletes make is summed up in this quote: The economic incentive to win forces players to develop a win at all cost attitude. Players no longer play simply for the love of the game, but rather play for the tremendous amount of wealth that can be attained by winning. (Rowe) The fans of professional sports are expecting more from the players, and when they feel that the performance from their team is inadequate, they get violent. Most people know of the incidents that occur from European and South American soccer games. The fans of these soccer games have fights regularly over arguments that are provoked from one team winning and one team losing.

There have also been cases as extreme as death for another fan or even a player. on May 29, 1985 when two fans turned an argument into a full scale riot, as the Italian fans tried to storm the English stands in the process they knocked down a cement wall killing 39 people. In result of this some teams had to ban their own fans from attending the home games.(Hazleton) Violent fans happen in any sport, not just soccer. The National Hockey League (NHL) had an unfortunate event in the early 1990s. Take for example, the Montreal Canadians, who had just won the National Hockey League championship after their June 7 Stanley Cup final victory over the Los Angles Kings.

Almost immediately after the game, a rampage started in the streets of Montreal. For over two hours, people were turning over cars, setting fires, and smashing store windows with big stones. The damage was estimated at about $10 million.(McGurgan) Drinking is an activity that provokes the fans to act in a violent nature. There is a new crackdown on drinking at Wrigley Field, the home of the Chicago Cubs. They have beefed up security to keep people in the cheap seats from moving into the lower box seats.

Season-ticket holders will be responsible for the actions of anyone using their seats. But the biggest changes are in beer sales. The Cubs will reduce the number of beer vendors by 10 percent; make them stop selling in the middle of the sixth inning, a half-inning earlier than before; and allow vendors to stock up only halfway for their final trip through the stands. It is all, as the letter says, because the poor decision of one fan resulted in an event that was embarrassing for all of us.(Chicago Times) The incident that the reporter was talking about was that of a Chicago Cub fan that took the hat from Chad Kreuter, when his Los Angeles Dodgers were playing against the Cubs. Ron Camacho, one of three men arrested for disorderly conduct during last week’s fight at the Cubs-Dodgers game, has filed a lawsuit against both teams seeking more than $400,000.

Chad Kreuter and other Dodgers jumped into the seats and strangle …

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