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Violence in Hockey

By Edited Dec 31, 2015 0 0

Violence in sport has been looked down upon and discouraged for generations. With the exception of boxing, wrestling and the like, aggressive physical contact in sport is against a myriad of laws and regulations as well as being totally unsportsman like. Yet in hockey today we see constant attacks and brawls taking place and encouraged by fans, coaches and media; brawls that, in a civilian context, would easily be categorized as assault. So why is this happening? And what, if anything, should we do about this?

Violence in hockey, nostalgia aside, is considered to be a relatively new development with the most brutal injuries inflicted within the past few decades.

- The Marty Mcsorley trial of 2000
In a game between The Boston Bruins and The Vancouver Canucks Marty McSorley side slashed Donald Brashears head with his stick. Brashear was struck to the ice and suffered from a sever concussion. McSorley was charged with assault with a weapon but only landed a sentence prohibiting hims to play against Brashear for the next 18 months.
In 1998 Gary Suter gives Paul Kariya a hit that cuases a major concussion and some serious dental work, he misses the olympic Nagano Games because of it. It was just a short time after Karlya scored that Suter brutally cross checked him, sending him to hospital and missing the Nagano Games, never to play the same again.
In 1998 Jeff Kugel landed a 25 game suspension for a fight that looked like something out of a World Wrestling Entertainment ring. A fight was in progress when Kugel jumps onto the ice to join it, he hits one of the player from behind and proceeds chase other players off, pumping his fist and working the crowd.

Violence is a commercial act, done because it is demanded of players. Violence pleases fans, the fans know that, players know that, coaches know that, the league knows that; it's there because it is attractive. It brings in the money; a perfect display of supply and demand. One could say that the league and advertisers are using the players to satisfy an ever increasing fan base of blood thirsty rabble raisers. The players are the ones taking the hits for it, pawns. Well paid pawns admittedly, but pawns none the less.

So where is this all heading? Are we going to idolize and pride ourselves in this adopted national sport? It clearly does not represent any our moral standards as a proudly functioning democracy. Considering how big a role the entertainment sector plays in our economy and home lives; what is it that we want to lead us? Where do we want to go?



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