Modern sports are arguably one of the greater things humanity has come up with. They take our primal, competitive urges and channel them into a positive gathering of fans and players, throwing balls around, instead of a gathering of armies at war slinging bullets at each other. Sports can bring cities, nations and even the entire world together to celebrate the best feats of athleticism and competition we have to offer.
However, there are many times in which said celebrations of endurance and strength degenerate into violence, chaos and general thuggery. Prime examples include soccer hooligans, unruly parents at little league games, The Ron Artest Interactive Fan Experience, and Saturday’s free-for-all at the Orange Bowl.
The brawl could have been prevented, and looks bad on the university, but one can hardly say it’s a problem exclusive to Miami. The helmet blow heard around the country underscores a bigger problem in sports, in that little by little, violence is usurping the actual game.
After Ron Artest socked a fan last year, the news media went to great lengths to condemn his behavior and mention how that’s not what sports are about. Already, commentators on ESPN have taken to decrying Saturday’s fight as something that’s “not what college football is about.” Players will be suspended, this may be the catalyst that’ll be Coker’s ultimate undoing, and the commentators will still drone on about our school’s problems, while ignoring the bigger picture.
In the end, it will take a collective effort across the board to prevent violence from erupting during games.
Coaches must take control and make it clear to their players that such behavior will not be tolerated-whether verbally, or by enforcing sanctions.
Fans must not stand by while the issue pops up. Players themselves must exercise self-control and refrain from both making childish taunts and sneers, and responding to them.
In the end, it is up to the sports community-and everyone involved in it, be it actively, or as a spectator-to set things straight.