The Love-Hate Relationship in Sports and Violence

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Sports and violence have always sustained a love-hate relationship. We are always trying to find the right balance between safety and aggression. Similar is the case of violence in NHL. Some insist that violence has no place in the game and should be completely eliminated, while others maintain that violence has always been an integral part of the game and is necessary for its success. Aaron Wherry in his article “Violently Happy: Why the NHL Needs to Make Hockey Safe Again for Those Who Appreciate Blood Shed (2007) and Laura Robinson in her article argue that fights in NHL are acceptable as long as it does not hurts anybody. Laura Robinson also argues that hockey Violence leads to Real-life violence. I believe the same and support the argument that violence is essential for the success of NHL.
The pro-violence groups argue that hockey is an intrinsically violent sport. Even if close contact with other players, which is a big part of the game, was taken out of the equation, the players still have to contend with high speed collisions in confined spaces and the danger of getting hit with a stick or a puck. In this hyper-competitive, violent, environment why is fighting uniquely demonized? Moreover, fighting is also viewed as a deterrent against 'cheap shots'. It gives the players a chance to police themselves and play an honorable game. In addition to being a deterrent such aggressive behavior also provides an emotional release that actually prevents things from escalating.

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