Violence in sports

by zxc1997 on October 22, 2015 - 11:59pm

In Robert Hogg’s article,” Masculinity and violence: the men who play rugby league,” he points out the fact that violence is seen as a nature of the game of rugby. The amount of violence involved in a game of rugby seems to be accepted by the general audience. Violence is also considered as a normal characteristic of masculinity. As the former New South Wales and Australian halfback Tommy Raudonikis suggests, Rugby league is a hard game played by hard men (Hogg).

The word “hard” refers to two aspects in masculinity. First of all, it means a physically strong body. Men who play sports are expected to have very strong bodies with lots of muscles. During the game, these features can provide the player more power which leads to a better performance. However, it can also cause the players to play the matches more aggressively. As a result, the number of injured players will increase.

The second meaning of the word “hard” is stoicism. Men are expected to not express their emotion. Men should be stoic at all time because emotion prevents men from taking the right decisions. However, keeping the emotion inside has a huge effect on one’s mental health.

Overall, these aspects of masculinity mentioned in Hogg’s article are not beneficial to men. Men should start to think about masculinity again, and try to build it in a more beneficial way.



Works Cited

Hogg, Robert. " Masculinity and violence: the men who play rugby league." The conversation. May 17, 2013. Web. October 22, 2015.


I chose to comment on this post because I am an avid sports fan and I found this article very interesting since it is sports related. In my opinion, the “hard” image discussed in Hogg’s article has a greater negative impact on minorities who fit that image than on white men. For example, I think that in the case of Eric Garner, the officer’s use of violence was in part due to Garners “hard” image as he was a large, muscular black man. I believe that men with a strong body figure are more likely to be stereotyped as being violent or dangerous and that these stereotypes are amplified for large, muscular minorities such as Eric Garner. I believe the “hard” image not only negatively impacts white men by labeling them as aggressive but it is even worse for the minorities who fit that image by supporting discrimination and racism. Although being big and muscular may be ideal for some athletes, I think that overall the image has more disadvantages in terms of how others perceive you, especially when it applies to minorities. This is also an example of white privilege as white men with a strong muscular build will be less harshly or less frequently stereotyped as having aggressive tendencies than if it were a black man for example. This brings up the question, although this “hard” image comes with athletic performance benefits as well as others, is it worth the cost of being profiled and stereotyped?

I choose this article to comment on because I myself does in fact play rugby.
I believe that in rugby, when you watch it or play it, we call it a gentlemen's game because even though it seems like all they want to do is smash the opponents heads in, rugby players have a certsin code or brotherhood that they live by. One of the rules which they live by is to not or seldomly cry (or to embrace the pain). If YOU DON'T then your deemed un-manly. We could compare this to the riots in the U.S. Policeman V.S. Black community. If the Black community just stand by and do nothing, you see the as passive aggressive or not "manly" for things that they should fight the police force because of what they do. Yet the moment they fight back, the police just see them as savage beasts who like to fight in the streets. Oh how it would be great to live in a world were equality actually existed, not just said to cover our own guilty conscious.

I have decided to comment on your post because I have been and still am a passionate sports player and fan. When it comes to violence in sports, the fans and the media coverage emphasize it, promote it and mostly expect it. We all portray these "hard men playing a hard game" with pain like heroes giving themselves to their team and entertaining their fans. The violence as well as the aggression that comes out in violent sports is depicted as an exciting and rewarding behaviour.
The post picked up on two important and negative outcomes of excessive violence, a higher risk for physical injuries but also leading to mental illnesses.
It is unfortunate that society defines the real meaning of masculinity in part through sport. From a young age, boys are taught and encouraged in athletics to push themselves, be courageous, strong, more advanced, and competitive. Boys grow up being judged by their capacity or not, interest in, or not toward sport. They feel the need to achieve athletically to fit in to the so-called "man box".
However, statistics in this regards are frightening. 43 per cent of all sport-related injuries in secondary-school children are attributed to rugby, three times more than in any other sport (A&E department in Ireland). “There are 60 concussions in high school football alone per 100,000 player games or practices (athletic exposures)”. Today, we all know what long term health consequences that might have.
Is it time to put an end to violence in sports? I, as a fan and a player, say no. It is a part of a legacy, part of a passion, part of the game There are athletes who play these sports and wouldn’t want to change the rules out of passion and love for the game. Violence in sports should remain legal but become more controlled. More severe rules should definitely be imposed on young players. I believe that people, athletes and fans, parents and coaches, no matter their gender, must be more aware and educated about the outcome of violent sports like rugby, football, hockey and others. Education for a deeper understanding of the injuries and negative outcomes should be more available. However, if after being educated, adult players still decide to be aggressive in a game of Rugby, then be it, as long as those actions are processed and understood individually.

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