After further review…stop the madness

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John Adkisson, co-sports editor

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A monthly column written by the sports editors, making the call on a selected sports topics in the school or nation

The month of May perennially offers sports fans some of the most exciting sports of the year. During this time of the year, Major League Baseball (MLB) is beginning its season, while the National Basketball Association (NBA) and the National Hockey League (NHL) are in full swing, with champions being crowned in the next few weeks.

However, this action has been met with an egregious amount of violence and unsportsmanlike play. Recently, Los Angeles Lakers forward Metta World Peace blatantly elbowed Oklahoma City Thunder guard James Harden in the head, giving him a concussion and putting him on the bench for a couple weeks. What followed in the next three weeks can only be described as vile.

While the 2012 NHL playoffs have been exemplified by the feel-good rise of the underdog, it has also been littered with hits that have silenced stadiums and made viewers at home cringe. This was seen when Phoenix Coyotes defenseman Raffi Torres clocked Chicago Blackhawks star forward Marian Hossa. Hossa was carried off on a stretcher and remained out as the Blackhawks fell to the Coyotes in the first round.

More recently, two checks from behind (a five-minute major penalty in the NHL, and also the easiest way to break someone’s neck and spine) in Game Two of the Western Conference Finals between the Coyotes and the Los Angeles Kings resulted in the injuries of two players, including one being knocked unconscious.

Violence and malpractice has even been seen in the non-contact MLB. Just a couple weeks ago, Washington Nationals rookie phenom Bryce Harper was hit by a pitch by Philadelphia Phillies ace Cole Hamels. Hamels admitted after the game that the hit on Harper was intentional, for which he received a five-game suspension. Even worse, Hamels argued that his actions were warranted since beaning is a traditional part of the game.

So, what exactly is causing all of this ridiculousness in the three major American sports that are going on right now? Why, in a span of three weeks, have frowned-upon practices in these sports happened?

Regardless of the answer, there is no place for the violence at all. While many sports fans encourage the practice of violence, it is unnecessary in sports, not benefitting the play at all. Since when do fights make sports better?

Many hockey fans wait for the moment in the game where the two bruisers drop gloves and punch it out. Some people might even think that fighting is one of the most important elements of the game, if not the most important element. That is absolutely irrational and thus should be eradicated from sports entirely.

Athletes serve a crucial role in society. Many boys grow up wanting to be professional athletes. They treat these mega-stars like idols; athletes are shaping the behavior and actions of millions of kids.

Consequently, athletes are sending the message that violence is okay, when in fact it is dangerous and irresponsible. The condoning of violence on the court will undoubtedly lead to violence off the court, creating an unnecessarily violent youth. Furthermore, violence does not help a team win; the objective of these games is to score the most points, not ruin the most lives.

While the last few weeks of professional sports have been great, it has come with a lofty price. If all of the unnecessary hits and fights were eliminated, all that would be left would be the pure competition that the game has to offer. Focusing less on violence will not only lead to better play on from the athletes, but it will also reinforce the positivity that sports has to offer for everyone.

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