Almost every year we hear on the news or read in some newspaper that another hockey player, whether it be in the NHL or some minor league, has received a concussion from taking a hard hit into the boards or from fighting.
And, every time we hear or read about another one of these occurrences, the ongoing debate of whether violence should or should not be eliminated from sports rears its ugly head.
Now, I am a huge sports fan. I have watched and played sports all of my life. I like basketball, football and most especially, hockey.
The majority of sports do not have any violence in them whatsoever, such as basketball (except maybe for the occasional scuffle between opponents) where players just run up and down the court bouncing and chasing a ball and trying to shoot it in a hoop. But, to some people sports, such as football and hockey, are considered too violent due to all the hitting and tackling in football, and all the hitting and fighting that takes place in hockey.
But, if you ask me, those who have the opinion that sports are too violent most likely don’t like or care about sports at all or don’t understand what they are all about.
I mean too violent? Come on. That’s absolutely ridiculous.
These sports have been played and have (for the most part) the same rules since they were invented over 100 years ago. Yeah, sure the rules and regulations of each of these sports have somewhat changed and been tweaked over the years and evolved. But, the core of these sports and how they are played and how they are overall, are still the same.
However, let’s say for argument sake that you were to take out hitting and tackling in football. What would you be left with? A bunch of players running up and down a field trying to score touchdowns and field goals, minus trying to take the player down to prevent them from scoring? It would pretty much just be flag football, which isn’t nearly as exciting as real football. There’s nothing like seeing a good tackle.
And, let’s say for argument sake again, that you took hitting and fighting out of hockey. What would you be left with? A bunch of players skating up and down the ice playing with a puck? As exciting as it is to see that great save where the goaltender totally robbed a player who thought they had an easy goal, or an awesome goal is scored where the player dekes the goaltender right out of his pads. It’s always exciting when a player makes a hit on another player and the player who was hit never saw it coming, or when two players exchange a few words and then they drop the gloves and start duking it out.
It’s not that I condone violence. It’s that all the tackles, hits and punches you sometimes see during sports games, I don’t really consider that violence. I just see it as part of the game.
And, I know that sometimes the fights or hits lead to a serious injury or in some very rare cases death (like that 20-year-old junior player who died after losing his helmet during a fight and hitting his head on the ice back in 2009). But, that’s part of the risk of playing sports.
As athletes, we know that there is always a possibility we could get seriously hurt. But, it doesn’t stop us from playing because we love the game.
The same goes for watching sports. You watch sports because you like to watch them. And, if you think it’s too violent, you can always change the channel.
As for removing violence entirely from sports, I find that is very unlikely ever to happen. I think it’s here to stay.