Monday, September 29, 2014
Okay, here’s the deal: I have gone back and forth over whether or not I should – or should not – address this issue here in my blog. Because of the Ray Rice incident, domestic violence amongst football players is a very HOT topic around the world right now, and I have incredibly mixed feelings about it. Please keep in mind that I can only speak from my own opinion but if any of you would like to comment, then please feel free to do so.
It is a very vexing situation for me. Football runs through my veins and that is not an exaggeration. I am quite frankly obsessed. I grew up with the San Francisco 49ers in the 80’s and 90’s when violence in the sport of football was all part of the draw. Ronnie Lotte, for example, was one of the most aggressive players in the NFL at that time and we literally wanted him to kill his opponents. As fans, we would yell “Crush em!’”, “Take their heads off!”, Go for their knees!” and all sorts of other horrible, outrageous things. And we meant it too. Obviously it was expressed in a more metaphysical, than literal way.
Football has toned down now for the safety of the players but, it is still a violent sport and we, as fans, love it. Here is the double standard though: we want these athletes to be testosterone storming, to be strong, aggressive and violent on the field. They are human beings though – which means that ‘trained behavior’ sticks with them. Can we really blame them for beating up their wives or girlfriends, or do we need to also blame ourselves for turning them into the dominant, aggressive and violent beings that they have become?
Please believe me: I am in no way making excuses for their behavior but rather, just highlighting the “why?” aspect in the minds of these men. There is no quick fix because even though it is clearly a problem within professional sports, it is also a worldwide pandemic.
Yes, there is a nurture/nature aspect to violent behavior. If a child grows up in a violent home then it is more likely that they will become violent in their own life, But how do we stop the cycle? Is it even possible?
A major problem that I do have is this: why is domestic assault handled differently than any other assault? Whose idea was that and where is the logic?
Scenario #1 – a man beats his wife’s head in with an iron and fractures most every bone in her face. He is charged with domestic assault violence and given a few months in jail.
Scenario #2 – using a baseball bat, a man beats a female clerk at a convenience store in the head and fractures every bone in her face. He is charged with aggravated assault, or possibly, attempted murder and goes away to prison for many years.
Violence is violence. Yes, I am a guilty proponent of it when it comes to professional sports. I enjoy mixed martial arts, and my favorite sports are Football and Rugby. No surprise that both of these sports are incredibly violent.
How do I find a balance? Is it possible?