Our group has collectively decided to discuss the topic of violence in sports, especially riots in relation to sports. Riots occur for many reasons, but for our topic we will focus on riots that are caused by or occur at sporting events. We hope to explain why many violent acts happen at sporting events in stands, outside arena’s, and after games. In order to look into this matter, we must first understand what violence in sports is and how it may affect young children’s mindsets.
In order to full understand the subject of sports violence we need to know the full definition of it. Violence in sports is defined by M.D.Smith as, “a physical assault or other physically harmful actions by a player that takes place in a sports context and that is intended to cause physical pain or injury to another player (or fan, coach, game official, etc.), where such harmful actions bear no direct relationship to the rules and associated competitive goals of the sport.” This definition suggests
that violence within the rules is accepted and may not be considered as violence in sports. Many sports such as hockey allow players physically fight until one falls and then issued penalties, which are insufficient to deter
the player or harm the team; this action is outside of the rules but accepted widely throughout the game. These types of actions are violent, but are part of the game, can and should we put an end to this type of activity? Many may say yes, but it is inevitable that this will change the game.
Smith then explains in his article, “Building a New Brand of Sport,” how much of this need for violence is natural and how violence is praised in our society. The first theory suggests that humans are “inherently violent and sport is a relatively safe and controlled way to discharge aggression.” The psychological theory says that violence is caused by frustration as one’s efforts to reach a goal are blocked. The social learning theory explains that violence might be officially condemned and penalized but unofficially coaches, teammates, fans, and the media praise it. All three of these theories are accurate and can be used to explain the need for violent sports in our society.
Smith feels that violence in sports can be either reduced or eliminated by doing a few simple things. First, we must penalize harshly so that the disadvantages outweigh the advantages. Then, coaches must emphasize fair play by teaching players to look at opponents as collaborators in the pursuit of a well-played game, not as enemies. He than says to organize meetings with coaches and parents, to discuss fair play. Smith discusses how very important parents are in a child’s outlook on sports, the child learns much about sports just by watching his father view an event. Smith feels that these steps may help in the fight against violence in sports and will help “build a new brand of sport.”
Through my research of M.D. Smith, I have realized that violence in sports has many different aspects and many different solutions. Smith explains what a true definition of violence in sports is and questions if society wants to end it. It seems that society needs violence to take out built up aggression, fights seem to happen due to frustration, and coaches and teammates encourage violence. Smith then discussed his ideas on how to put an end to violence, which are logical and realistic. The article, “Building a New Brand of Sport,” questions society, explains why violence occurs, and suggests ways to help change the way sports are played.
Sports and Games