The theories of sport mirroring society, violence as a result of economic incentive, and theinfluence 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 wouldprobably 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 afight will break out and the fans will yell and scream for their favorite player involved. Likeanything, if people around us are applauding us for a certain act we have done, we will try to do it overso that we will continue to be praised.
In sports, there are some players whose only role on the team isto protect and enforce the unwritten rules of the game such as in hockey where it is not right to fightor 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 thefuture. 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) areasked to try and remove 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 are rough andviolent” (McPherson 294). Why should these leagues remove the violence that is occurring if they are making money andkeeping people employed?
The fans of the games want 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 nothing better than seeing a good fight take place. “One of the best-selling videos in parts ofthe 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 wascalled for and was reluctant to remove the fighting and the body contact because he knew that it is whatthe majority of hockey fans want.Fighting is a well-established safety valve for players. If violence ceases to exist, it will not bethe 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 (Snyder201). Its better that the violence take place between two willing combatants such as in sports than ina situation involving spousal abuse where the majority of the times the female is being attacked againsther consent. Allowing people not to be able vent their frustrations through sport in my mind wouldincrease the violence that is happening away from the playing field. It is a known fact that sports doeskeep kids off the street and away from gangs which is why you see so many athletic and boxing clubs beingrun out of the inner city.
It is allowing the youth to take that hostility out on a willing participantwho 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 formalizedsport 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 notpromote poor sportsmanship, it creates a drive to succeed within yourself and to try to do the best atwhatever 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 agolike some people might suggest, it is only being shown and .