What intrigues people about hockey violence?
By: Nicole Delene
By: Nicole Delene
Hockey violence is a very serious matter. This paper is writing to make hockey players, parents, coaches, and spectators realize the affects hockey violence can have on an individual. The paper will discuss what and how a player is intrigued to participate in violence. By making the public aware of hockey violence hockey players, parents, coaches, and spectators can encourage hockey to become a safer sport. This topic is important because serious injuries to a player can sometimes be preventable.
Violence takes place in hockey in many different ways. There are violence players, parents, coaches, and spectators who start or participate in violence. Aggression was defined as ‘verbal or physical actions grounded in an intent to dominate, control or do harm to another person,’ while violence is understood by them to refer to ‘the use of excessive physical force, while causes or has the potential to cause harm or destruction’ (Young, 2012, p.2). Players have accepted hockey violence as “part of the game” (Smith, 1979a). Hockey is encourage and promoting youth to participate and start violence.
Causes of hockey players participating in violence
Hockey players look up to their role models. A players role model could be professional players, parents, or coaches. These people need to consider their audience before they act out. The NHL sets the tone for hockey, and that tone has an effect on all the [hockey] ranks (Proteau, 2011, p. 184). Parents may directly or indirectly encourage a player to hit or fight another player (Dietz, 1978; Gelles, 1974; 170-172). If a player always sees or hears their parents booing at the referees or the opposing players then the player will classify the actions a normal behavior. Coaches are also a very strong role model for players. Coaches, according to players, are somewhat more encouraging of fighting than fathers (Smith, 1979a, p. 116).
Like all public performers, hockey players put their audience into consideration when deciding to act out in violence. Peers and spectators have another big effect on how a player will act. A player’s thoughts and attitude toward hockey violence could be one thing, but it could change in the presence of peers. Players fear losing respect from their peers and coaches if they choose to show compassion and not participate in violence. Players do not speak up about hockey violence because they do not want to be known as a “wimp” (Proteau, 2011, p.183). Many players agree that “It does not matter if you lose a fight, there is respect in losing but there is no respect in doing nothing (Faulkner, 1974, p.299). Players are not only influence by professional players, parents, coaches, peers, and spectators but also by themselves. Players are also naturally competitive. If they see someone as a threat to get their place on a team they will try their hardest to uphold their position.
The effect violence has on a hockey player
Hockey players put into consideration the audience of the game. Players know that the audience wants to see action. When players hear “Get em”, “Kill em”, and “Give’em hell” they normally never think of what effect they could have on the opponent nor do the people yelling it. Players may cause the opponent to suffer a broken bone, concussion or even death. If a youth player is exposed to a head injury it is not fully recognized until the brain completes it maturation.
checking is the most common cause of trauma in hockey; it accounts for 86% of all injuries among players 9-15 years old (Brust, Leonard, Pheley, Roberts, 1992, par. 5). Some players with injuries have to sometimes live with it and adapt to their injuries for the rest for their lives. Players who accidently kill or seriously injure another player have to live with it for the rest of their lives. Is body checking worth the affect it could have on someone?
How media portrays violence
Images and articles in a newspaper, and radios announcers talking about the game are just a few of the ways violence is viewed. Lead-ins to a game such as “Tonight the top guns go head-to-head” set the tone for the game. During the game talk show host may elaborate on what a good hit a player had. Instant replays tell us not only what one might expect in televised sports coverage of hockey, but also indicates how announcers may select and focus on game features that are assumed to carry high audience appeal (Young, 2012, p.143). With players hearing what announcers want to see they try to get their name out there as one of the “top guns”.
Why hockey players want to be the tough guy
Hockey players want to gain respect from coaches, peers, and spectators. Masculine behavior is most evident in sports where strength, power, dominance and violence are defining characteristics (Hargreaves, 1986; Theberge, 1989). Players want to be viewed as a man and not a “wimp”. In some cases players will hide that they are seriously hurt because they do know want to be known as a cry baby.
How violence is viewed in hockey
Violence in a sport has been rarely viewed as “real” violence (Smith, 1983). In some cases players are rewarded for physical aggression. At the beginning of the paper aggression was defined as ‘verbal or physical actions grounded in a intent to dominate, control, or do harm to another person,’ while violence has been referred to as ‘the use of excessive physical force, while causes or has the potential to cause harm or destruction’ (Young,2012, p.2). Players learn that being in the penalty box means you broke the rules. Some view this as being a tough guy and breaking the rules. Commissioner, Gary Bettman said, “Fighting is a part of our game and it always has been”. But it is a small part of the game that receives a disproportionality large part of attention, particularly in the media (Proteau, 2011 p. 32).
Hockey violence may never go away. However it is important to have people be aware of the risk of hockey violence. There are ways to prevent injuries or deaths such as strengthening neck muscles. People need to consider their audience when they act out. Parent, coaches, peers, and spectators may yell out “Kill em’” but it will not affect them until a player dies that are close to. Hockey violence is viewed a part of the game. Hockey players are intrigued to hockey violence by role models, media, and the audience. Hockey violence has become an issue because the fans have turned the purpose of hockey into a violence sport. Not all hockey teams, players, parents, coaches, and peers participate in hockey violence but hockey violence will always be in the sport of hockey.
· Kevin Young. (2012). Sport, violence, and society. P. 2-143.
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· Adam Proteau. (2011). Fighting the good fight: Why on-ice violence is killing hockey. Of the hockey news. P. 1-184.
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· Janny Dwyer Brust, MPH; Barbara J. Leonard, PhD; Alfred Pheley, PhD; William O. Roberts, MD. (1992). Children’s hockey injuries. Am J Dis Child. 146(6):741-747.
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· Smith,M. (1983). Violence and sport. Toronto: Butterworths.