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Violence In Sport Essay

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Sport Analyst John Cooper has spent the last seven years examining the behaviour of professional rugby players on field. The hostile- aggressive acts particularly evident in 21st century rugby league have caused increasing concern amongst industry heavy weights with commissions being authorized in Australia to investigate borderline violence on the field. Violent behaviour in the community is naturally treated as socially unacceptable, however, it is considered entertaining once a punch is thrown on a football field.
If we consider the bloodshed and slaughter involved in the Ancient Roman games, participants aimed to inflict maximum damage and brutality was emphasized. Boxing in the Ancient Olympic Games for instance, had gloves that were designed to cause as much pain to the opponent as possible and participants could even fill them with iron spikes. Boxing then had no rounds or breaks and the fights only ended when an opponent was knocked out or could not physically continue. Thankfully, modern sport has evolved to a more rule-governed activity and there is a greater emphasis on self-control, skill and strategies applied by the athletes. However, violence is still an unavoidable aspect of sport to this day for the same purpose as it has always been- entertainment.
Aggressive behaviour has always been associated with the sporting environment- especially in those areas where rough physical contact is a requirement like rugby or boxing; it is these areas that violence is inevitable. Despite the fact that physical behaviour in sports are meant to be unintentional and merely part of the game, they have increasingly become deliberate.
State of Origin, Paul Gallen punches Nate Myles, photo by Getty images
Physical behaviour in spor...

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...as a result of an unprovoked attack be enough for this matter to be taken more seriously? There are a number of ways that Australia can reduce on field brutality. Through an educational process is surely one way to decrease the number of episodes of on field borderline violence. Through education, we can discourage children and teach them that violence anywhere at any time is unacceptable. But this is just one, small step. The bigger battle is with broadcast media and what they are allowed to air during prime time slots. If broadcasters didn’t feature the violence and sport commentators didn’t discuss on field ‘biffs’ in such a joking matter just to gain ratings, society would have a more sophisticated understanding of the matter. With State of Origin coming up, let’s try and enjoy the game for what it is and banish the ‘bring back the biff’ chant once and for all
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