Violence in sports will always be a big issue although I don’t think it will ever be truly resolved. In sports, there is competition and where there is competition people are striving to be the best.
There is a lot of strong emotion when people are trying to win for themselves or for their team. In sports as long as there are competition and high emotion, there will always be the potential for violence. The intense competition that is a part of sports can and often does lead to violence.
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The violence isn’t always among the players of the sports being played. At a nine-year-old soccer game in Staten Island parents of opposing teams became engaged in a verbal fight over a call that a referee made and it became a big brawl between parents. This shows the kids at that game that if their parents can engage in a fight with the opposing team’s parents then that makes it right to throw an elbow in a game or shove someone.
Yet in professional sports, it isn’t the athletes most of the time. Usually, the fans are the ones to cause the riots and fights. Especially in the sport of soccer, the fans take the sport so serious and they aren’t even playing in the game. Unhappy Corinthian fans said that the players were slacking off and so the fans gave the team a piece of their own mind by invading the field, cursing at the players and punching their own team. Corinthian fans have been known to turn against there own team in unfavourable times. These are obviously not true fans.
A few years ago Latrell Spreewell was in an incident where he choked his coach. This brought major conflict to the NBA; they did not know what to do with Latrell. At the time he was on the Golden State Warriors, they needed to make the playoffs and to do this they needed Latrell. But to let him physically and orally assault his own coach and to get away with it, who knows what type of controversy this could bring to the basketball world.
They had to do something with Latrell but what? If they suspended him, the team would have no chance of getting to the playoffs and, without the possibility of winning the basketball championship, which would mean a dramatic decrease of income on the behalf of the Warriors. No matter how devoted a fan is they do not want to spend hard-earned money on a losing team.
A good portion of the income from a basketball team is derived from home games. Without many fans, fewer people buy tickets and therefore, fewer people go to the games. This is obviously a financial reason why the Warriors should not suspend Latrell. Another financial issue is that a lot of companies had hired Latrell to advertise certain products for them. Is Latrell the image the retailer is looking for? If he gets suspended and no one sees him play, why would they want to purchase a pair of shoes endorsed by him?
So if they don’t suspend him then he is “getting away with it”, and many people would ask why. The answer is because he is a wealthy, talented basketball player that can get away with choking his own coach. The NBA and the Golden State Warriors had a large problem on their hands that needed to be resolved. How would other NBA players feel about having a violent player on the opposing team? If a player would choke his own coach who knows what he would do. Latrell Spreewell posed a potential threat to the NBA and his own teammates.
Public relations play a large role in this as well. If a team does not have good public relations it will be in great financial danger. Players are celebrities, and just like in Hollywood, if you do something bad and the general public does not like you, they will not go see your new movie or television show. Having good public relations is a necessity because it generates the income that the team has. If the Chicago Bulls were seen as a bad team with a bad reputation, the public would not accept their merchandise, tickets, and other endorsements.
Despite popular belief, money does make the world go around and without it, the decision to be made about Latrell Sprewell would have been a lot easier to make although it has already been made. If a regular layperson were to strike their boss, they would have been fired immediately, no questions asked. But since there is so much money being handled in the NBA as well as every other professional sport, it changes the whole approach to the problem.
I believe that violence in sports and violence in the name of a sports team or player will never cease to end. Fans will always be rowdy, players will have short tempers and misfortunate problems but parents fighting against other teams’ parents is just ridiculous. Parents tell their children what is right and wrong and if someone were to tell their child not to be violent and then they go and fight with the other team’s parents that are showing the child that it is alright to fight in the name of the game. What we all forget is that it is all a game, unless you’re making the millions of dollars a year to play it.
Then that game becomes a life and then they’re exceptions, but not always. I think if all teams went to group therapy with each other then that might just relieve some stress and take some time to think out their problems and to leave them at home and not to bring them to the court.
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