Violence in Sports


Chaotic brawls, both by athletes and spectators have been an ongoing issue on sports for ages, specially seen in competitive sports such as soccer, american football, ice hockey, boxing and such. Violence in sports may include, but are not limited to, threats, physical harm, aggressive behavior and uncontrollable violent crowds.


A well-known issue is what is called Hazing, which are initiation rituals performed in high schools, colleges, and even professional sports teams. In 1999, Alfred University and the NCAA found out that approximately four out of five college US athletes (250,000 per year) experienced hazing. These initiation rituals often included alcohol, drugs and humiliation.


Also, part of the violent behavior is built up in people since early ages: coaches, parents and even older kids tent to encourage this aggressiveness into little children when they are part of sports teams and little leagues. It is common to see how the pressures associated with sports produce low self-esteem, excessive anxiety, and aggressive behavior in children.


Athletes sometimes resort to violence, in hopes of injuring and intimidating opponents, an example of this is the very famous match between Mike Tyson and Evander Holyfield in 1997, during this match Mike Tyson lost it and bit off a piece of Evander’s ear.


Fan violence is also common and perhaps a much bigger issue, it has been normal to see groups of fans become violent to show some sort of loyalty to their team for example, The actions of English football hooligans and firms in the 1980s caused English teams to be banned from European competition for six years after the Heysel Stadium disaster in 1985; also, In 1994, Vancouver Canucks fans rioted in the streets of Vancouver after their team lost in the Stanley Cup finals.


The NFL has not been a stranger to these violent issues: During the Super Bowl XXXII in 1998, Denver Broncos fans rioted in the streets of Denver after their team won Super Bowl XXXII. Near-riots happened when the team won the Super Bowl again the following year and after the Colorado Avalanche won the Stanley Cup in 1996 and 2001. In another state, fans rioted and destroyed property in 2003, after the Oakland Raiders loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Super Bowl XXXVII.


These situations could be caused by some sort of “Intermittent explosive disorder” and also to the fact that some athletes may be genetically predisposed to violence or (particularly male athletes) and have unusually high testosterone levels provoked either by a genetically predisposed body or it is induced by drug abuse.

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