The violence within male dominated sports, to me, has always been a representation of the violence within American culture. I have noticed throughout my life that there seems to be an overall obsession with violent acts within sports, as well as other aspects associated with them. People sit in the bleachers cheering on as 200 pound men collide with one another for the sake of a game. I do believe there are positive aspects of being part of a team and teaching valuable social bonding, however, there is a fine line on what we want to teach our children and what they are actually absorbing into their minds. People are conditioned by the values being taught in sports, and in a patriarchal society, male dominated sports are what are being broadcasted across the nation. When you bring a kid to a hockey game and they see everyone cheer when two of the players break out into a fist fight, they’re being encouraged to support this act of violence and continue to normalize violence between men and sports. Hyper-masculinity is something that has always been associated with sports, so much so that people like the fights within sports just as much, if not more than the actual game itself.
I have friends that get so amped up about fights in hockey, they actually yell at the ref for breaking it up. I’ve seen grown men fight each other in bars because they bad talked the other guys team. They were extremely intoxicated, which is something that more often than not is involved with sporting events. These sports, I think, are a result of our violent society and the rigid idea of masculinity. The need for men to be seen as powerful, somehow equates to violence within our culture. Violence in the appropriate setting of course, like the stereotypical white man in an action movie killing the bad guy. or tipping cars over when your team loses. Our society has been created by many violent acts; genocide, war and battles. Even as far as we have come, It really shouldn’t be a surprise that sports hold onto violent aspects, seeing our history. What does surprise me is that the majority of our nation doesn’t see the problem with all the violence and how we are allowing the continued normalization of violence within sports.
- Nicole Connolly -