The Prevalence Of Violence On Sports Essay

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Violence and Aggression In Sports

The prevalence of violence in sports is not simply a modern American problem. There has probably never been a society anywhere on earth without some degree of sports-related interpersonal violence. Roman gladiators, many of whom were volunteers, risked death every time they stepped into the arena. The ritual ball games of Aztec and Mayan culture ended in human sacrifice. The chariot races of ancient Constantinople were accompanied by spectator violence that, on one occasion, left 30,000 dead. The brutal and obscene behavior of English “football hooligans” has become legendary. To explain the apparently universal occurrence of some degree of sports-related violence, we need to look beyond the American military and the modern corporation (Allen). According to Silva (1981), aggressive behavior is an overt verbal or physical act that can psychologically or physically injure another person or oneself. The aggressive behavior must be non-accidental and done with the intent of injuring the opponent. Aggression can be divided in two different categories according to Buss (1961). Hostile aggression and instrumental aggression are differentiated based on the intention of the aggressor and the primary reinforcement sought by the acts. For individuals engaged in hostile aggression, the primary goal is to inflict injury to another human being; the intent is to make the victim suffer. Individuals engaged in instrumental aggression also
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