Violence has increased in sports, especially in those sports that involve body contact such as hockey and football. For many years, violence in sport was considered the level of and the spirit itself determined the level of violence. Violence has escalated to the point where players deliberately provoke fights to excite the crowd. A player who intentionally injuries another player should be subjected to criminal and civil actions. Depending how serious the injuries are. In hockey, fewer fights have not made hockey a safer game, but one thing fighting has become more menacing in the NHL.
Enforcers are bigger, stronger and better trained in boxing. Bodychecking and stickwork have become more vicious and hits from behind into the boards, also high sticks and flying elbows. There is a say that Conn Smythe said “If you cant beat them in an alley. You cant beat them on the ice. “(deacon pg. 68). Before the 1998 Olympics Canadian Paul Kariya was hit by a flying elbow. The American Gary Suter got a laughable four game suspension which didnt fit the crime. Paul missed the Olympics and was out of play for almost a year, also that hit almost ended his career.
To begin the season the NHL introduced a system that it will put a second referee on the ice to help spot infractions behind the play. In the first three weeks the NHLs chief disciplinarian Campbell slapped nine offenders with fines and suspensions for hits from behind and sticks or elbows to the head. Yet no one is planning to ban fighting. Rules over the past twenty years have eliminated bench clearing brawls and extra punishment on players who jump off the bench to trade punches.
Campbell expressed his view of fighting, “Its part of the game that I think the NHL has controlled pretty good and I dont think it is a huge problem. Deacon p. 70). Thats a lie fighting is a very huge problem. Fighting they say sells tickets, that it quickens the pulse in any hockey crowd. Fighting is important to some sponsors and TV networks. Ad executives say the NHLs most important drawing card is its appeal to the prized beer and truck buying demographic. Michael Barnett says, “One of these days, a guys going to get the upper hand in a fight and hes going to land a bomb in the wrong place, on a guys or something and boom someone can die.
And then all hell will break loose because everyone will stand back and say, how did we ever let this happen. Deacon p. 70). The NHL has conducted polls to see public reaction to fighting, but the findings are not conclusive. The league still knows that gloves on hockey still sells on TV because it gets its best ratings during international tournaments and the NHL playoffs, when there is almost no fighting at all. So we know that it sells but the league has to get very strict with intentional hits and must be punished severely. Ken Dryden, says that he is against fighting, says no one knows if fighting is scaring away more fans than it attracts because no one is asking the right questions.
Also that the league will consider banning fighting only if it gets the right answers. Dryden also said “the determining factor is whether more people will watch if the fighting is taken away. ” (deacon p. 72). Bettman the president of hockey wants to build the leagues fan base, not alienate longtime supporters and so insiders say that he plans to take action on fighting but he will do it with a scalpel not a sledgehammer. Last year in the NHL Andreas Dackell suffered a concussion and needed thirty stitches to the face after being crushed into the boards by Eric Lindros.
Eric got a five minute penalty and no games suspension for that and that hit almost ended that mans career. Wayne Gretzky says, “the players have lost respect for one another a little. ” (Deacon p. 71). When Gretzky was in Edmonton, his coach made the players practice without helmets to teach them to keep sticks down. Also kids these days are being taught that if in any way they are get from behind to stick their hands out so their heads dont get smashed against the boards. Also exercises to the head to make it stronger and of course not to hurt other players. Nick Kypreos never saw the punch that turned the lights on his career.
In 1997, Nick got in a fight with another player in a preseason game. Nick lost his balance for a split second, his head came up enough that the other fighter hit him on the right side of his face. Unconscious, Nick fell hard on to the ice in which his head bounced off the ice making a bloody scene. Kypreos was suffering from post concussion syndrome and for six months he felt dizzy whenever he tried to exercise and read a newspaper. He recovered and the only evidence of the fight was scars on his knuckles and a nose that has been smashed to many times to hold its shape.
Doctors told him that he will risk permanent injury if he returned to the game and suffered another concussion. So he had no other choice but to retire from the game he loves so much and for what a game which meant nothing, just to give the crowd a sense of excitement. Nick says that, “youre losing badly and the coach looks down the bench and asks, When is someone going to show me something? ” (Levin p. 74). Then he said, “the only thing you can do is make sure the other team remembers you the next time and the easiest way to do that is to drop your gloves and beat somebody up. Levin p. 74). Now Nick has the luxurious job of being a hockey analyst for CTV Sportsnet.
His three serious injuries in his career came all from fights. Which were torn ligaments, a broken leg and the concussion which ended his career. He also said that enforcers simply grow to hate what they do for a living. He says that guys have anxiety attacks or that they cant sleep. Nick also said, “This was a game they loved to play as kids, but now, they have to go into Chicago thinking, God, Ive go to fight Bobby Probert because I dont think
Im ducking him or Im scared of him. Its really tough feeling. Youre not thinking about winning or playing a good game. Youre thinking about who you have to fight. ” (Deacon p. 75). Fighters now acknowledges the risks. They dont want to get hurt like Nick did. In some cases families wont watch them play because they hate to see them get hurt. Theres a fact that enforcers rarely get to use their playing skills because they have to concentrate on the grim job of trading punches. An eleven year old boy from says it stops the flow of the game and most fights are boring.
He also said, “my little brother, he tries to fight and stuff because he sees these guys fighting. “(Deacon p. 72). Nick says that when hes otuside the arena, he knows that he know that hes spending the night in jail. There was been nine major injuries since 1988 which are Sutter got a broken jaw and concussion from a cross check. Lemieux got a bruised sternum form a two handed high stick. Norton got bruised ribs and internal trauma from slash. Sandstorm fractured facial bone, scratched right cornea and bleeding inside the right eye from a fight.
Turgeon got separated shoulder form a check from behind. Peluso got a concussion from a fight. Ray fractured orbital bone form a fight. Kypreos got a severe concussion forma punch to the face. Kariya concussion from a cross check. So you can see that fighting and illegal hits from behind are getting many injured and resulting in many players retiring early because they cant play no more. The league has to cut down on fighting to make the game a lot safer for the players. Maybe take those who several hit another player should be subjected to criminal or civil actions.
In conclusion, efforts are now being made to understand the nature of all forms of violence in order to deal more effectively with it. Violence in sports especially. Sports clubs are being pressured to make and enforce tougher rules and penalties for violence in sports. Failure to do so may probably lead to the government to deal with the problem. Some Canadians approve of violence in sports and consider it part of the game. Others believe that it detracts from the game and should be treated the same as any violent behavior in our society.