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Violence in Sports (Research Paper Sample)


This paper intends to discuss violence in sports, and it draws literature from disciplines such as anthropology, psychology, and sociology.


Violence in Sports
Violence in Sports
Intimidation, aggression, and violence are aspects of sports just as they are part of society in general. As a result, no one should be surprised that violence exists in sports. Violence involves the use of excessive physical force, which results to harm or destruction. Certain sports such as football, rugby and hockey, are designed for assertive and physical contact between competitors. Participants, spectators, and fans of such sports seem to enjoy the risk element involved. For instance, it has often be said that die-hard hockey fans love to watch the fights between players as much as they enjoy the actual hockey skills displayed by the players (Collins, 2009). This paper intends to discuss violence in sports, and it draws literature from disciplines such as anthropology, psychology, and sociology.
In today’s culture, violence is viewed as a normal thing. Vices are shown in story form in movies and on television, and various songs associated with the youth advocate various forms of violence. Moreover, in most industrialized countries, violence is normally tolerated and glorified, and it is culturally associated with normal male behavior. Children are allowed to watch violent male sports, films, television programs, and electronic games that involve male protagonists. Little boys are given toy guns, soldiers and other war paraphernalia to play with. Actually, various societies seem to have absolutely embraced violence.
After a championship football game in North America, fans gather in various central locations to celebrate the victory of their favorite team. However, these celebrations can result in vandalism, tear-gassing by police, turned-over and burned automobiles, and arrested sports fans. Fan violence is usually referred to as a social problem in North America that should be of concern to its citizens (Lewis, 2007). Fans seem to love the thundering hit, specifically in the playoffs when the stakes are raised, the referees back off, and the emotional level of a high-energy game is constantly on the boil. Although fan violence in North America is of much concern, such instances are not frequently reported as it is with the rest of the world, particularly when compared with violence instances in soccer matches in Italy, Germany, Britain, Belgium, and the Netherlands. Issues of violence with football fans in Britain have been so common such that violence in various sporting events elsewhere is referred to as "spread of the English Disease" (Madensen & Eck, 2008).
Violence is a complex issue as there is no single cause of violence, nor is violent behavior limited to a particular group of people. Nevertheless, several factors contribute to violence, including poverty, substance abuse, availability of guns, psychological problems, and poor self-esteem. In many instances, however, violence is a learned behavior. Children who are exposed to violence in their homes are more likely to be abusive or violent as adults than children who do not witness violence. In addition, children develop violent behavior from their exposure to violent screen media, especially movies, video games, and television programs. Watching violent movies for example, provides indirect ways to participate in violence, experience emotional states associated with being violent, and observe outcomes of violence. Since this violent movies portray violence as an effective way of getting what one wants, an impressionable young observer may resort to violence when he/she is in similar situations (Gatz, 2002).
Violence in sports is usually attributed to uncontrolled emotions. Fans normally get a huge rush of adrenaline, sad, other get excited, and all these emotions cannot be easily controlled. Hence, an angry fan tends to relieve his/her emotions by indulging in violence. Frequently, plays get aggravated because of not scoring, after a player in the opponent team faults on him without an official noticing it. As a result, they may engage in a fight drawing the attention of fans (Spaaij, 2006). Moreover, fans may end up in a fight because of difference in opinions. For example, if a fan is shouting on a player and another fan tries to stop him/her. Some of the psychological effects of violence in sports include life-threatening mental illness to players that may even persist after their playing days are over.
In all instances, the sporting fraternity across different countries condemns violent behavior among fans and players. As a...
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