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Unformatted text preview: Violence in Sports Violence in Sports
Chapter 7 Coakley, 2007 Is there violence in sport? Is there violence in sport? Violence in Sport Violence in Sport Violence in sport is nothing new…Greeks, Romans, Aztecs, Medieval, etc…their activities lead to death. Violence in “Modern” sport became obvious during the 1972 Olympic Games in Munich. Power and Performance sports promote violent activities among their players today. Can be a result of deviant overconformity or deviant underconformity. “[During the draft, what the coach] is looking for are coldblooded defenders who smile when quarterbacks bleed.” (Mark Kiszla, The Denver Post (2001)) “I went to a fight and a hockey game broke out.” (Rodney Dangerfield) Definitions Definitions Violence – the use of excessive physical force, which causes or has the potential to cause harm or destruction. Aggression – the verbal or physical actions grounded in an intent to dominate, control, or do harm to another person. Intimidation – words, gestures, and actions that threaten violence or aggression. Violence as Deviant Overconformity to the Violence as Deviant Overconformity to the Norms of the Sport Ethic a set of norms accepted as the dominant criteria for defining what is required to be defined and accepted as an athlete in power and performance sports “Now a real hitter is a headhunter who puts his head in the chest of his opponents and ain’t happy if his opponent is still breathing after the play. A real hitter doesn’t know what fear is except when he sees it in the eyes of a ball carrier he’s about to split in half. A real hitter loves pain. Loves the screaming and the sweating and the brawling and the hatred of life down in the trenches. He likes to be at the spot where the blood flows and the teeth get kicked out. That’s what this sport’s about, men. It’s war, pure and simple.” (Pat Conroy, Prince of Tides, 1986) Historical Background Historical Background Violent Actions at Sports Events: – Soccer matches in Europe (hooligans) – College football games in the U.S. – High school sports (19501960’s): – Baseball game (19001940’s): Some were sites for local youth gang wars Cubs and Phillies (p.219) Players feared being injured by fans as much as they feared the “bean balls” Violence at Sport Events Violence at Sport Events Spectators attending noncontact sports: seldom engage in violence
– may be emotionally expressive – exception: attack on Monica Seles, fan out of stands attack on baseball 1st base coach Spectators attending contact sports: tend to be vocal and emotional, but most not involved in violent actions
– crowd violence in certain sports is a problem for law enforcement and a social issue Violence on the field Violence on the field Is it promoted? Is it condoned? Is it condemned? Canadian sociologist, Mike Smith suggests four types of on the field violence occur:
– Brutal Body Contact (smashmouth FB) – Borderline Violence (Roger Clemens) – QuasiCriminal Activity (Robert Horry) – Criminal Violence (Mike Tyson Ear Biter!) Brutal Body Contact Brutal Body Contact
(smashmouth FB) includes physical practices common in certain sports and accepted as part of the action & risk in their sport participation
– Examples: collisions, hits, tackles, blocks, body checks and other forms of forceful physical contact that can produce injury most people in society define this forceful physical contact as extreme; don’t classify as illegal or criminal, nor see a need to punish coaches often encourage this form of violence Borderline Violence Borderline Violence
(Roger Clemens) includes practices that violate the rules of the game but are accepted by most players & coaches as conforming to the norms of the sport ethic and representing commonly used competitive strategies although these actions are expected, they may provide retaliation by other players official sanctions/fines are usually not severe; public pressure has grown to increase severity of sanctions – examples: “brush back” pitch, forcefully placed elbow or knee in soccer & basketball, strategic bump used by distance runners, fistfight in hockey QuasiCriminal Violence QuasiCriminal Violence
(Robert Horry) includes practices that violate the formal rules of the game, public laws, and even the informal norms used by players fines & suspensions are usually imposed most athletes condemn this form of violence and see it as a rejection of the informal norms of the game and what it means to be an athlete – examples: cheap shots, late hits, sucker punches and flagrant fouls that endanger players’ bodies Criminal Violence Criminal Violence
(Mike Tyson) includes practices that are clearly outside the law – athletes condemn them without question and law enforcement may prosecute them as crimes relatively rare and there is growing support that criminal charges should be filed when it does occur – Examples: assaults that occur after a game, assaults that occur during a game that seem to be premeditated and severe enough to maim The Institutionalization of Violence The Institutionalization of Violence in Sports NonContact Sports: violence is rare as players are seldom rewarded for violent activities. Men’s Contact Sports: power and performance sports – use intimidation, aggression, and violence as a strategy. While they disapprove of quasi and criminal acts in sport – borderline violence and brutal body contact are promoted as the norm! Women’s Contact Sports: it is growing, yet women don’t have to prove themselves in the same aggressive or violent ways. (Tonya Harding) Violence Is Institutionalized Violence in Some Sports In noncontact sports, violence is usually limited to using violent images in talk In contact men’s sports, players learn to use violence as a strategy – Enforcers & goons are paid to do violence In women’s contact sports, violence may be used as a strategy, but not to prove femininity Violence in the game of sport Violence in the game of sport Some see as necessary Mostly due to deviant overconformity. Commercialization of sport has also lead to increased game day violence. Violent acts in sport help to define masculinity (need to understand gender ideology and issues of masculinity in culture) If a man doesn’t appear to be If a man doesn’t appear to be violent enough in sport, what might we hear him called? Is violence a matter of respect? (boys and men learn quickly that they are evaluated in terms of their ability to do violence in combination with physical skills: Ozzie Guillen – collision (p.203); hockey dad (p.203); David Wells reference to softball) Research is needed on the celebratory riots increasingly associated with certain sports Celebratory Violence Celebratory Violence often treated as youthful exuberance and loyalty to the university or community if celebratory violence continues to occur at the current rate – what strategies will help facilitate the formation of norms that discourage violence in connection with celebrations – professional: announcements by highly respected coaches and players; bar owners – college: does a higher ranked team rush the field after a BIG WIN! at home? Violence in the Stands Violence in the Stands Many factors lead to and determine violence: action in the sport itself, crowd dynamics and situational factors and the historical, social, … in which the game is planned.
– – – – – – – – – Crowd size Demographic composition of the crowd Meaning and importance of the event for spectators History of the relationship between the teams and spectators Crowd control and preparedness issues ALCOHOL consumption!!!! Location of the event Reasons for attending Identity of sport to spectators. Violence & Action Violence & Action in the event If spectators perceive players’ actions on the field as violent, they are more likely to engage in violent acts during and after games – important because… perception determines how the game is hyped – extent to which spectators identify with teams and athletes – teams and venues encourage fans to believe they can motivate home teams and distract the visiting team Indiana Pacers and Detroit Pistons (p. 223) Crowd Dynamics & Situational Factors Crowd Dynamics & Situational Factors Related to Spectator Violence Crowd size (seating patterns) Composition of crowd (age, sex, etc.) Alcohol consumption by spectators Location of event (neutral or home site) Meaning and importance of event History of relationship between teams and spectators Crowd control strategies at event (police, attack dogs, surveillance cameras) Motivations for attending the event (and what they want to happen) Importance of teams as sources of identity for spectators (regional or local identity, club or gang identity) Controlling onthefield Violence Controlling onthefield Violence Pain and injury are not a deterrent as they are part of the sport ethic. Commercialization also limits the control of violence on the field…if we don’t see a fight at a hockey game, we feel like we didn’t get our money’s worth! We use penalties and financial losses/costs in order to reduce violence. Legal liability is a possible issue aggressive athletes could face. Violence Among Athletes Violence Among Athletes OfftheField Violence used strategically on the field is sometimes carried outside the lines. Reputations and legends need to be “nourished” even off the field. Research suggests that men in P&P sports are more tolerant of violence off the field, than recreational or non P&P athletes. Assaults against women…research is constantly being evaluated…the verdict is not in! Ideology Ideology None of us lives outside the influence of ideology!! Will explore ableism: web of ideas or beliefs that people use to classify bodies perceived as unimpaired as normal and superior and bodies perceived as (dis)abled as subnormal and inferior
– Widespread in society – and many people, including some with disabilities, use it to evaluate themselves and others – This point is highlighted in connection with the rapidly growing sport that participants call murderball – officially known as wheelchair rugby Background: Wheelchair Rugby Background: Wheelchair Rugby aka murderball, quad rugby fouronfour competition with players in customized wheelchairs mix of rugby, team handball and football: uses a volleyball & a basketball court invented in Canada in 1981 and 1st played in the Paralympics in 1996 participants have quadripalegia or limited use of three or four limbs
– rated in terms of upperbody muscle function ...
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This note was uploaded on 05/05/2009 for the course KIN 2530 taught by Professor Jacobson during the Spring '09 term at LSU.
- Spring '09